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FY17 DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction Program, Cuyahoga County, Ohio

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2017, $276,361)

The Cuyahoga County, Ohio Regional Forensic Science Laboratory (CCRFSL) is the primary DNA analysis laboratory for Cuyahoga County and the region. Cuyahoga County comprises 59 municipalities with the city of Cleveland being the largest city in the county. The CCRFSL maintains the following accreditations: ASCLD/LAB-International, American Board of Forensic Toxicology, American Association of Blood Banks (AABB), National Association of Medical Examiners (NAME) and maintains compliance with the FBI Quality Assurance Standards for Forensic DNA Testing Laboratories for inclusion in the Combined DNA Index System/National DNA Index System (CODIS/NDIS).

In 2014, the laboratory completed a $2.5 million expansion of the crime lab, and as of January 1, 2015 began offering free testing to all jurisdictions in the county. Due to the expansion and free testing services, the laboratory has experienced a significant increase in casework and will continue to see increases as more jurisdictions submit Part 1 Crime casework to the lab.

The CCRFSL accepted 1,000 requests in 2015, as compared to 882 in 2014. In 2016, the lab accepted 1,330 requests for casework (363 sexual assault, 632 non-fatal, 327 fatal, and 8 cold case requests), which represents a 33% increase in casework. It is anticipated that increases will occur as more jurisdictions begin submitting casework. It is not clear at this time how cases will fluctuate but it is anticipated that there will continue to be an increase well into the future.

To address the increase of casework to the lab, the Laboratory has added general funded DNA Analysts and DNA Technician positions and has acquired new instrumentation with non-grant fund dollars, but grant funds remain critical in capacity enhancement as well as backlog reduction.

Given the increase of casework, it is not clear how backlog statistics will fluctuate, however the CCRFSL is optimistic that these numbers will be in a positive direction as a result of the funding under the FY 2017 Cuyahoga County DNA Backlog Grant.

This year's project will address capacity enhancement and backlog reduction, and will consist of the following:

1. Hire an additional DNA analyst.

2. Procurement of DNA consumable supplies.

3. Attendance at conference and meetings to maintain and enhance knowledge base on cutting edge DNA instrumentation, techniques and processes.


Date Created: September 29, 2017