Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2017, $150,000)
The Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office Regional DNA Laboratory (JPRDL) is an equipped and active accredited crime laboratory that currently performs forensic DNA casework analysis.
The laboratory undergoes a stringent external audit every two years to maintain their accreditation. All DNA analysis performed under this program is maintained in the laboratory as mandated by the federal privacy regulations. All eligible DNA profiles are entered in at the JPRDL's local CODIS terminal for upload to SDIS and NDIS by the Louisiana State Police Crime Laboratory CODIS Unit. In an effort to provide timely and accurate service, the JPRDL must increase their current level of funding support. The goals and objectives of the projects funded by this grant are:
- Remain current with the latest DNA technology
- Reduce or maintain forensic DNA case turnaround time
- Increase the throughput of the DNA laboratory
- Reduce forensic DNA backlogged cases
- Maintain required laboratory accreditation
- Increase knowledge of staff in current and future technologies to enhance the capabilities of the laboratory
The JPRDL intends to achieve the above listed goals by maintaining current staffing levels, replacing outdated equipment, purchasing new equipment, purchasing supplies, and attending training. Purchasing supplies will ease the ever increasing strain on our laboratorys budget. By having the funds to purchase supplies, turnaround time and capacity can remain standard and not fall into a further backlogged situation. This will allow the laboratory to be poised to complete the number of requests that are submitted in a timely fashion.
The ultimate goal is for the JPRDL to provide real time support to investigating agencies. We expect there to be a decrease in the laboratory backlogs, a decrease in sample turnaround times, and a higher laboratory throughput to better service the law enforcement agencies. Finally, continuing education is critical to maintaining a high level of quality of DNA analysis. It is essential that DNA analysts remain up to date with current technologies and practices in order to perform at the highest level possible.