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FY2016 DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction Program - Baltimore County, Maryland

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2016, $167,756)

Funding is requested for the Baltimore County Police Department’s FY 2016 DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction (CEBR) Program. The goal of this program is to increase the capacity, efficiency and timeliness of DNA analyses performed by the Department’s Forensic Services Biology Laboratory. Federal funding will be used to purchase upgraded and additional lab analysis equipment and expanded technology in order to eliminate existing backlogs, prevent future backlogs, improve turnaround time, and increase throughput. Federal funding will also support essential training and continuing education opportunities to enhance the knowledge and skills of the laboratory’s six Forensic Biologists.

The purchase and implementation of new and upgraded equipment along with acquisition of expanded technology is expected to streamline processes, resulting in greater capacity and efficiency of DNA laboratory services. Specifically, a new 7500 Real Time (RT) PCR system to replace the outdated one purchased in September 2005, and software to upgrade the 7500 RT PCR purchased in 2010 will be able to run Quant Trio Software and provide analysts additional information about extracted DNA, thus eliminating a need for retesting, and resulting in faster and more efficient processing. Addition of a Thermomixer will expand the use of previously purchased robotics, contributing to decreased turnaround times. Similarly, a new stereomicroscope with a mobile adjustable stand will improve magnification, provide better selection of DNA samples, and contribute to decreased turnaround times. The addition of laptop computers with Windows 10 and Windows Office Suite will enable the lab to maximize use of its LIMS software, expediting the processing of cases.

Grant funding will also support education and training opportunities to enhance the capabilities of the Laboratory’s DNA analysts and ensure they meet professional standards. Attendance by the lab’s Technical Leader at Promega’s International Symposium on Human Identification will aid in planning for the lab’s future technology and training needs. Attendance by the lab’s newest analysts at Life Technologies DNA Analysis Training will advance their qualifications and further the lab’s goal of cross training all analysts in completion of the entire forensic biology case.

This project will be managed by the Director of the Department’s Forensic Services Section. Quantifiable performance measures to determine lab efficiencies and enhancements will be recorded and reported throughout the grant award period. nca/ncf

Date Created: September 7, 2016