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OCPD DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2017, $199,866)

The Oklahoma City Police Department Forensic DNA laboratory continues to see an increase in case submission requests as well as the number of samples to be analyzed per case and is seeking to continue to streamline DNA laboratory work flow and capacity through automated extraction equipment, a Lean Six Sigma process mapping project and analyst overtime.

Primarily, the focus of this award project is to invest in longer term solutions to prevent the backlog from continuing to grow. A key component to this will be a Lean Six Sigma project to improve the work flow and approach to case work as well as reducing redundant waste and bottle necks.

Since the laboratory has already invested heavily in technology upgrades in recent years and additional staffing, funds are pursued this year with the goals of maximizing on these upgrades pursuing long term laboratory process improvement to assist in reducing the current backlog of casework, and changing the process to ensure backlog does not return to current size via a lean six sigma study. Lean Six Sigma projects have been used very successfully in other forensic DNA units to reduce backlogs with an eye to longer term sustainability that does not require a reliance on overtime.

Over the last two years, the DNA unit has advanced its response to sexual assault evidence processing, initiating a Y screening approach. To further improve the efficiency and response to differential extraction process, the laboratory seeks to purchase two QIACube sample preparation instruments to assist with automating the differential process. This has been identified as a current bottle neck in processing this type of evidence in our laboratory.

In the past, analyst overtime has proved a successful method of rapidly reducing the backlog to manageable levels in a short period of time while maximizing the number and speed of profiles viable for CODIS entry. Since the laboratory is currently holding a high amount of backlogged cases, which are not expected to decrease anytime soon, utilizing award funds for overtime to rapidly reduce the backlog should position the laboratory to move forward and maintain a proactive approach to reducing turnaround times on casework. This will also facilitate cases being worked faster, technical reviews to be conducted and additional profiles being uploaded into CODIS.

Since the lab has also seen growth in the number of samples requested for analysis, overtime will assist in allowing more cases to be processed as the larger volume cases are worked through the regular week.


Date Created: September 29, 2017