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Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2017, $368,735)

Broward County is the 15th largest county in the United States and second largest in the state of Florida, which includes 31 municipalities. The current population is 1,827,367.

The Broward Sheriff's Office is charged with safeguarding residents and visitors by providing public safety services that enhance the quality of life for everyone in Broward. Broward Sheriff's Office (BSO) employs over 5,000 employees and relies on federal, local, and state funding to enhance effective and efficient law enforcement, detention, and fire/rescue services. All law enforcement agencies are under a microscope by its communities with focus on accountability, parity, and transparency. All facets of law enforcement are important; however, the ability to aid the local criminal justice system in the proof of guilt or innocence of crime suspects in Broward County is paramount.

The Broward Sheriff’s Office Crime Laboratory DNA Unit has 13 staff; however, only 10 staff members are actively working on cases, including eight analysts performing DNA analysis (one of which is a City of Fort Lauderdale funded analyst) and two analysts performing serology/screening. The unit also includes a full-time CODIS Administrator, a technical analyst, and a Unit Manager. The Crime Laboratory is challenged with a limited budget and nearly 2,400 cases to process/handle each year; nevertheless, staff makes every effort to meet the demands. Funding is needed to support three grant-funded Criminalist I/II/III analysts who will assist with case productivity; provide the required annual continuing education required for existing DNA analysts to meet the FBI DNA Quality Assurance Standards and/or certification requirements established by the American Board of Criminalistics; bring in an external audit team for a biennial external audit mandated by the accreditation program; and replace a benchtop centrifuge for PCR plate set-up.

DNA grant funds are essential to the Broward Sheriff's Office ability to address DNA backlogs and support staff who work tirelessly to maintain educational/professional levels of competency to resolve criminal forensic case in Broward County's criminal justice system. In doing so, BSO creates safer communities with all stakeholders benefiting from quality law enforcement services, in particular staff's performance working in the Crime Laboratory DNA Unit.


Date Created: September 29, 2017