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FY 2016 DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction Program - Florida Department of Law Enforcement

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2016, $2,344,201)

Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), as mandated by Chapter 943 Florida Statutes, operates a statewide forensic crime laboratory system to provide timely, expert and professional examination of evidentiary materials to aid in the investigation, prosecution and exclusion of criminal offenses in the state of Florida. The Biology/DNA needs of Florida’s criminal justice community are serviced by a network of FDLE laboratories and five local laboratories that comprise the Florida crime laboratory system. FDLE has six internationally accredited DNA laboratories that provide Biology/ DNA analysis services.
The heavy demand for Biology services continued in 2015, with over 21,000 Biology cases released. The large volume of cases have been attributed to a number of factors including Florida’s 19 million population and continued high volume of reported crime (673,138 index crimes as of last available report in 2014).
With funding provided under this award, the FDLE plans to achieve a reduction in the forensic DNA case backlog, an increase in DNA analysis throughput, and an increase in laboratory capacity.
In order to reduce the DNA case backlog, the FDLE will fund overtime to be used for in-house casework as well as outsource casework to private accredited laboratories. DNA analysis throughput will be increased by funding overtime for laboratory personnel and employing six temporary Forensic Technologists for case management. The FDLE proposes to increase laboratory capacity by continuing its path towards laboratory automation with the purchase of thermal shakers, centrifuges, and one 7500 quantitation instrument.
Capacity will also be increased with overtime used to perform case work screenings and analysis. In order to assist analysts with interpretations of DNA data from simple and complex mixtures, the FDLE would like to purchase specialized computers, software licensing, and training that will be used statewide in order to aid in inferring genetic profiles from mixed DNA samples that will offer a fully continuous approach to interpretation.

Date Created: September 7, 2016