Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2017, $597,739)
The Colorado Bureau of Investigation Forensic Services (CBI-FS) submits the following as the abstract for its plan for funds allocated through the FY17 DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction (CEBR) Program.
It is the intent of this organization to enhance the capacity of the forensic DNA laboratories. This will be done by the purchase of upgraded instrumentation which will amplify DNA product faster and more accurately than what is currently in place in these laboratories.
The CBI-FS also proposes to purchase a software upgrade which will enhance the existing offender database laboratory information management system (LIMS). This new software upgrade will allow for increased efficiency of the current offender database LIMS by automating the expungement and sample rejection process. This upgrade will not only increase efficiency, but it will minimize errors by pulling in information from offender records into auto-generated reports. In addition, a pre-entry of convicted offender information by law enforcement agencies will be enabled. This upgrade would also increase efficiency and decrease errors.
The second goal of this project will be to reduce backlog within the CBI-FS forensic DNA laboratories by funding overtime for the analysis of biological science cases outside of normal work hours. This will increase the total number of cases that our current analysts can complete during the time of this award. It is expected based on current average analysis times that at least 80 additional cases will be worked using the overtime funds from this award.
In addition to reducing the backlog within the CBI-FS forensic DNA laboratories by funding overtime of CBI-FS scientists, we will also outsource approximately 750 samples to private forensic laboratories. This outsourcing of backlogged forensic casework will help with reduction in our current backlog.
Finally, as part of the capacity of the DNA sections of the CBI-FS we must be able to participate in the CODIS DNA database at the local, state and national (NDIS) levels. To be able to participate at the national level, laboratories must adhere to FBI quality assurance standards. These standards require every DNA analyst to receive continuing education annually. Funds from this award will allow some of the analysts to receive this training at national conferences.