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FY 2017 DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction Program - Fresno County Sheriff's Office Forensic Laboratory

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2017, $212,747)

The geographic location of Fresno County is approximately an equal distance between the major metropolitan areas of San Francisco and Los Angeles in the Central San Joaquin Valley. From east to west, the county's boundaries extend 135 miles, encompassing a geographical area of 6,017 square miles with the Coast Mountain range to the west and the Sierra Nevada Mountain range to the east. Fresno County has a population of 965,974 that is expected to grow 3.4% annually in the future.

The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office Forensic Laboratory provides services for the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office. The forensic laboratory has two Criminalists that are trained and qualified to perform STR analysis and currently two more are in our DNA training program. Due to staffing needs and the growing demand for DNA analysis, the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office Forensic Laboratory needs to find a way to reduce backlogged DNA casework and increase our capacity. The Sheriff’s Office has over 30 unsolved homicide/rape cases that need to be examined for potential DNA evidence. DNA cases can take up to four months from request to final report, due to the size of our staff and non-efficient equipment. The forensic laboratory is seeking $217,899 in federal funds to decrease the backlog, turnaround time and to increase the capacity of cases from the DNA unit. This will be accomplished by using grant funds to hire one Criminalist position, send staff members to the 2019 AAFS and ISHI conferences and use funding for private fee for services vendors to reduce the number of backlogged DNA cases. The result will be a reduction in the number of days from request to issuing final DNA results to our clients and a reduction in the numbers of backlogged DNA cases.


Date Created: September 29, 2017