Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2016, $230,399)
The Tucson Police Department Crime Laboratory (TPDCL), a unit of the Tucson Police Department, is responsible for the analysis of evidence associated with criminal investigations for the City of Tucson, to include the analysis of DNA. The TPDCL and the City of Tucson continue to face severe budgetary constraints, particularly in the area of staffing. There has been no increase in the number of permanent staff members in the DNA Unit or the Crime Laboratory for several years. The backlog of DNA cases waiting for analysis continues to increase and the turnaround time remains very high. One way to positively affect the backlog and turnaround time is to increase staffing. Funding from this grant will be used as follows:
1. Continue grant funding for a DNA Screener (CSS) position for an additional 24 months;
2. Continue grant funding for a full-time DNA Criminalist position for an additional 24 months;
3. Outsource DNA cases to approved accredited external vendors for analysis.
4. Fund overtime (second appointment rate per city A.D.) for DNA Criminalists.
It is anticipated that the grant-funded DNA Screener will ""screen"" a minimum of 350 cases for potential DNA evidence while being funded with this grant. This position provides important and much needed support to the DNA analysts, freeing them up to focus their time and efforts on the actual analysis process and data interpretation.
It estimated that the grant-funded DNA Criminalist will analyze a minimum of 75 cases while being funded from this grant. The cases screened by the grant-funded DNA Screener will be different case than those analyzed by the DNA Criminalist to avoid double counting cases for grant reporting.
An estimated seven cases comprised of approximately 20 samples will be outsourced using funds from this grant to approved external accredited vendors. Once returned, the cases will be evaluated for CODIS eligibility. These will be uploaded to CODIS and any resulting hits will be reported to the investigator.
Funding for overtime should enable the DNA section to complete approximately 60 additional cases.