Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2017, $150,000)
The Tarrant County Medical Examiner's (TCME) Office is a regional medical examiner's facility located in Fort Worth, Texas that provides services to Tarrant, Parker, Denton, and Johnson Counties.
These counties represent a core population of approximately 2.75 million citizens. The Medical Examiners Office operates a multi-discipline crime laboratory that offers Forensic Biology and DNA analysis. The Forensic Biology/DNA laboratory not only serves the Medical Examiner, District Attorney, and other Tarrant County agencies, but also provides analysis on a fee for service basis to law enforcement agencies throughout the four counties served. It also serves many other agencies throughout North Central Texas and the rest of the United States.
The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) has allocated $5,136,089 for the state of Texas and the TCME Crime Laboratory has been requested $150,000 as its share of the formula grant.
The proposed project would fund salary and benefits for a Forensic Biologist to assist in the initial screening of biological samples, purchase supplies for developing DNA profiles in the laboratory, purchase replacement computers for analysts in the lab, and fund required continuing education for analysts in 2018 and 2019.
The Federal funding from this award will be used for the following goals and objectives:
Goal 1: Increase capacity, decrease the DNA backlog, and decrease the DNA case turnaround time in the forensic DNA casework laboratory by:
1. continuing to support the screening of forensic samples for the presence of biological fluids via the funding of salary and benefits for a Forensic Biologist (serologist).
2. continuing to support the work of laboratory analysts by purchasing new laptop computers
3. allowing casework to continue with the purchase of required supplies
Goal 2: allowing the laboratory to meet requirements for continuing education for DNA analysts by funding meeting attendance for four analysts in 2018 and six in 2019.