Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2017, $166,320)
The City of Fort Worth will use program funds to increase the efficiency of Crime Lab operations while also improving quality and timeliness of service. The primary purpose of the proposed project is to improve the capacity and reduce backlogs and turnaround times of the Biology Unit of the FWPD Crime Lab. Specifically, funding is requested for the Crime Lab to meet the following objectives:
1. To provide the necessary education and training for Crime Lab personnel to gain/maintain current knowledge and standards within the forensics field through participation in local, regional, and/or national forensic meetings, consistent with the requirements of the FBI Quality Assurance Standards.
2. To provide validation services (lab work and software) for the implementation of probabilistic genotyping software. Using vendors to complete validations will allow FWPD DNA analysts to continue working on casework which may contribute to timelier analyses and reduced backlogs.
3. To provide validation services for quantitation-based male screening of sexual assault kit evidence. Using a vendor to complete the validations will allow FWPD DNA analysts to continue working on casework which may contribute to timelier analyses and reduced backlogs.
The Crime Lab is located in Fort Worth, TX and provides forensic services to the Fort Worth Police Department and the Tarrant County District Attorney's Office. The FWPD Crime Lab is a multi-disciplinary crime lab that provides Forensic DNA testing. Key services provided by the Crime Lab include: controlled drug analyses; blood alcohol content (BAC) determinations; firearm and tool mark analyses; latent fingerprinting searches utilizing the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS), the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS), and AFIX tracker; evidence processing for latent prints and conducting print comparisons; physical evidence screening for the presence of biological and trace evidence; and DNA testing. In calendar year 2016, the Biology Unit successfully issued DNA reports on 293 cases which represented 705 samples. The Crime Lab is fully accredited by the Texas Forensic Science Commission and ASCLD/LAB (International) until July 31, 2020.