Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2016, $235,604)
The demand for DNA typing services in the City of San Diego remains high. We continue to explore ways in which to increase our efficiency and address the high casework demands placed on our Forensic Biology Unit. As our testing techniques become more sensitive, we are finding that we can get meaningful results from evidence that previously eluded us. The successful completion of our cartridge case study, showing we can get probative profiles from fired cartridge cases in significant percentages, illustrates this point. These successes lead to continual requests to do more, faster, and with difficult evidence. With the addition of the STRMix software to do mixture interpretation, we are faced with a significant increase in data, results, and complicated conclusions. The ability to discern 4 or 5 separate donors within a mixture, while proving an investigative boon, has challenged our computers and our reporting efficiencies. It is our goal to utilize these grant funds to increase the efficiency of casework output in our DNA laboratory to pre STRMix levels, and to provide the funding to allow additional cases to be worked on overtime. The combination of these two things should result in a decrease in backlogged cases. We seek $235,604 in grant funds in an attempt to achieve some important specific results.
1. Reduce the average turnaround time on DNA cases to below 85 days (Currently 88 days).
2. Increase the average number of samples analyzed per analyst per month to 40 (from 35 currently).
3. Reduce the backlog (cases over 30 days) by approximately 10%, in part by completing 80 cases in-house using grant funded overtime.
4. Provide mandated training to all analysts in the DNA laboratory.
5. Purchase additional software licenses that will increase our efficiency in interpreting complex mixtures, thereby reducing our turnaround times using computer software for mixture interpretation.
6. Purchase a back-up server with anti-virus software, to ensure adequate storage and security for the large amounts of data generated using our new processes.