Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2016, $306,102)
The CMPD is seeking $306,102 in federal funding to maintain four current federally funded positions and to contract with an outside agency to perform a DNA audit in accordance with the Quality Assurance Standards for Forensic DNA Testing Laboratories.
The workload of the CMPD Crime Laboratory is growing and with that growth has brought an increasing demand for DNA analysis. There are two observed causes for increased DNA submissions. First, each time the Crime Laboratory Biology Unit improves efficiency/capacity and obtains better results on evidence that is submitted, an increase is seen in the number of cases that are submitted. Second, the recent award of funding to the CMPD from the New York County District Attorneys Office to test 885 of its inventoried backlogged Sexual Assault Kits dated from 2003-2013. The DNA Criminalist Analysts have become overwhelmed due to the case load since every SAK tested by the outsourced lab that results in an eligible profile requires a thorough review of the technical data and case file prior to uploading the profile in CODIS.
The CMPD has a limited budget in the Crime Laboratory for personnel and without this funding we would be unable to maintain these positions. With the success of DNA in helping to solve all cases, both violent and property crimes, the number of cases submitted to the laboratory for DNA testing has increased to a size that cannot be managed with the current number of allotted positions. The positions that would be funded by this grant include two DNA Criminalist Analysts, a Crime Laboratory Technician, and a Criminalist Trainee.
There are three primary goals of this project. They include reducing the backlog of forensic biology/DNA cases, maintain current laboratory capabilities, and meet Quality Assurance Standard requirements by having an outside agency perform a DNA audit.
This funding of this project will address the bottleneck/shortcomings in the current DNA analysis process as the appropriate staffing level and positions would spread the casework and priorities to more DNA Criminalist Analysts and a Crime Laboratory Technician allowing cases to be worked efficiently while still allowing to process priority and court cases for faster CODIS input.