Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2016, $395,343)
The Tarrant County Medical Examiners (TCME) Office is a regional medical examiners facility located in Fort Worth, Texas that provides services to Tarrant, Parker, Denton, and Johnson Counties. These counties represent a core population of approximately 2.75 million citizens. The Medical Examiners Office operates a multi-discipline crime laboratory that offers Forensic Biology and DNA analysis. The Forensic Biology/DNA laboratory not only serves the Medical Examiner, District Attorney, and other Tarrant County agencies, but also provides analysis on a fee for service basis to law enforcement agencies throughout the four counties served. It also serves many other agencies throughout North Central Texas and the rest of the United States. The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) has allocated $5,191,304 for the state of Texas and the TCME Crime Laboratory has been offered $395,343 as its share of the formula grant.
The proposed project would fund salary and benefits for a Forensic Biologist to assist in the initial screening of biological samples, purchase additional equipment for developing DNA profiles in the laboratory, purchase casework supplies, purchase required server upgrades for the CODIS server, fund a required semi-annual external audit of the lab, preventive maintenance and validation of the purchased equipment, and fund required continuing education for up to five analysts in 2017.
The Federal funding from this award will be used for the following goals and objectives:
Goal 1: Increase capacity, decrease the DNA backlog, and decrease the DNA case turnaround time in the forensic DNA casework laboratory by:
1. continuing to support the screening of forensic samples for the presence of biological fluids via the funding of salary and benefits for a Forensic Biologist (serologist)
2. increasing analytical capacity by introducing an additional genetic analyzer into the laboratory workflow
3. allowing casework to continue with the purchase of required supplies
4. allowing the laboratory to meet FBI requirements for Quality Assurance through the funding of an external QAS audit for 2018
5. allowing the laboratory continued access to CODIS by introducing required software upgrades for the CODIS server
Goal 2: Allowing the laboratory to meet requirements for continuing education for DNA analysts by funding meeting attendance for five analysts in 2017. nca/ncf