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FY 2016 DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction (CEBR) Program

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2016, $150,000)

The Tri County Regional Forensic Laboratory provides forensic science service in the areas of Biology/DNA, Latent Prints, Drug Chemistry, and Toxicology for all the law enforcement agencies within the Minnesota counties of Anoka, Sherburne, and Wright.
The Biology section will be using the funds from the CEBR grant to hire an additional biology scientist. The laboratory intends to have this additional scientist start the last quarter of the year, hired on salary savings throughout 2016.

Hiring this person early will enable them to complete training early and start working on the backlog sooner. If a scientist is hired and working by the beginning of October 2016, we anticipate that person will have completed training by April 2017.

During the first four months of 2016, the Biology section has seen an increase of over 48% in requests for service over the same time frame of 2015. Much of this increase we feel is due to the great success we have had in processing evidentiary samples collected from property crimes and controlled substance offenses. Over the same period of time, the Biology section has
maintained an overall turnaround time for all case types of 60 days. Our goal is to have turnaround times closer to 30 days. If rates such as these continue over the course of 2016 and beyond, we will no longer be able to provide the level of service that we currently provide.

A biology scientist in our laboratory averages completion of 20 DNA requests for service per month. If the scientist hired with this grant works 21 months of the grant period at a minimum of
30 hours/week, this should result in a net of approximately 350 DNA requests being completed during the grant period, or an average of about 175 per year. During calendar year 2015, the Biology section had 570 new DNA requests for service, and completed 473 during the same period. Another scientist completing 175+ requests for service per year would help us start
getting more cases out than are coming in. nca/ncf

Date Created: September 7, 2016