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FY 2016 DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction Program

Award Information

Award #
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2016, $193,397)

The Nassau County Medical Examiner's Office, Division of Forensic Services Biology Section (DFSBS) is the agency responsible for analyzing biological evidence associated with criminal investigations for all local law enforcement agencies within the county of Nassau. The DFSBS functions as the county's CODIS custodian. The laboratory is located at 2251 Hempstead Turnpike in East Meadow NY, a separate location from its administrative office located at 1 West Street, Mineola N.Y. The objective of the proposed National Institute of Justice Forensic DNA Backlog Reduction Program for FY2016 is to reduce the overall turnaround time for the handling, screening, and analysis of forensic DNA samples, and to improve laboratory throughput in an effort to prevent forensic DNA casework backlogs within the County of Nassau. In order to reduce the overall turnaround, bottlenecks in backlogged case reviews will be addressed through funding of overtime for laboratory personnel. Technical and administrative reviews have been the laboratory’s major obstacle to the reduction of turnaround. Improvements in laboratory technology and workflow will be addressed through the funding of instrumentation and software designed to reduce the time required to analyze DNA samples and enter CODIS eligible profiles. Bottlenecks in the examination of physical evidence will be addressed by increasing capacity by adding a second microscopic workstation in the evidence examination laboratory. In addition, customization funds are requested to implement a LIMS digital voice recognition notepad which will replace the current hand annotated and scan to file method. To support the digital case accessioning system and digital reports, a remote workstation will be purchased and configured to replace the current antiquated system. In order to maintain the current capacity of property crime related DNA analysis the laboratory is requesting the funds for the purchase of reagents and consumables which will prevent the rejection of a significant number of cases. This is a vital initiative to the laboratory and its users since property crimes accounted for approximately 47% of submissions, 59% of CODIS profiles entered and 53% of CODIS hits returned in 2015.
The success of the goals and objectives proposed for this project will be measured by the expected decrease in case turnaround time and the number of CODIS eligible profiles entered into the database. Metrics will be generated by the Laboratory Information Management System report function. For this program reporting period the laboratory will be striving to meet a goal of a 40 day turnaround for the delivery of test results to its users. nca/ncf

Date Created: September 7, 2016