Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2017, $194,264)
This project funds the following goals and objectives:
Goal 1: Maintaining the trend of providing the most probative case results to the requesting agency in a timely manner (support our Mission Statement: "...to provide accurate, reliable, timely, and state of the art scientific analysis ... in a variety of criminal matters").
Objective A: Continue funding for three evidence technicians, already supported by this grant, to assist with reagent preparation and QA/QC maintenance, and other DNA functions needed to ensure uninterrupted work-flow in the DNA laboratory.
Expected Result: We expect that by removing the day to day functions of the DNA laboratory from analysts, they (the analysts), will be able to focus on their primary responsibilities of analyzing cases. We hope that technicians will help in reducing our turn-around time by approximately 10% and increase the number of samples we can analyze by 10%.
Goal 2: Increase capacity to complete casework
Objective A: Purchase a thermal cycler
This thermal cycler will be purchased to replace a broken thermal cycler which is currently reduced our capacity to do DNA casework.
Expected Result: This new unit will restore our ability to keep up with the current influx of DNA cases and expected increases in submissions due to the new Sexual Assault Kit Law.
Goal 3: Reduce our backlog of "UCR Part 1 Violent Crimes" forensic casework including property crimes
Objective A: Hire three evidence technicians to assist with handling evidence, screening samples, and processing DNA samples
Expected Result: These individuals responsibilities will promote streamlined case work-flow by providing support to analysts in the examination of evidence and in all the stages of DNA analysis. These individuals will also maintain the efficiency of work environments by performing necessary quality control measures and furnishing all work spaces with ample clean, new utensils and implements.
Objective B: Purchase assorted reagents and consumables to be used in the analysis of DNA casework samples
Expected Result: With the supply monies requested, the laboratory can analyze at least 40 cases above and beyond the number that will be analyzed using other sources of funding. This will be done during the 24 month period of this grant.
Goal 4: Provide required continuing education and develop laboratory methods
Objective A: Fund analysts' travel and registration to training opportunities at local, regional and national conferences.
Expected Result: These training opportunities will allow analysts to introduce new technologies in the laboratory that will promote more efficient workflow, reduce backlog and reduce turnaround time. In the next few years the laboratory anticipates adding new DNA kits and new mixture interpretation software and will require analysts to be trained and prepared to introduce these new technologies in the laboratory.