Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2016, $271,726)
City of Columbus Division of Police Forensic Services Center DNA Backlog Reduction Project 2016 seeks to enact improvements that will enable the crime laboratory to process DNA samples efficiently and effectively thereby reducing the backlog of DNA cases awaiting analysis.
The City of Columbus Division of Police Forensic Services Center has faced challenges in addressing casework for several years. These challenges include a shortage of personnel and instrumentation compounded by a lack of laboratory space to house additional staff and equipment. The laboratory moved into a new facility in April 2015 and has increased staffing to 10 analysts and expanded the number of instruments for DNA analysis. This grant's objectives will complement those from past DNA Backlog Reduction Program grants and will provide funding necessary to address the backlog of cases that has resulted from years of limited resources.
Federal funding from this award will be used for the following goals:
1. Reduce the forensic DNA case backlog by purchasing supplies for DNA casework.
2. Increase the capacity of the laboratory by purchasing supplies to utilize robotic extraction instruments and liquid handling workstations purchased with previous grants.
3. Provide the required continuing education for analysts.
The City of Columbus Division of Police Forensic Services Center can expect to reduce the DNA case backlog by at least 400 cases by the end of the award period. The turnaround time is expected to be reduced to 90 days or less, and the analyst throughput in the casework sections is expected to increase to 60 samples per month per analyst.