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NIJ FY2017 DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction Program: Nassau County Medical Examiner's Office Division of Forensic Services Biology Section

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2017, $179,627)

In 2016, property crimes accounted for 53% of the Nassau County Medical Examiner's Office Division of Forensic Services Biology Section (DFSBS) case submissions. Based upon the laboratory's CODIS success history the DFSBS continues to maintain its "no property crime" rejection policy for "point of contact" type evidence through the use of Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction funds (CEBR).

These cases are a priority to the laboratory's customers since they comprise 54% of CODIS profiles entered and 64% of CODIS hits returned, a significant increase from CODIS metrics reported in 2015. Loss of this capacity would significantly impact the Nassau County Police Department’s and District Attorney Office’s ability to solve local crimes and could have similar effects at the state and national levels.

Enhancing caseload capacity, minimization of future backlogs and the reduction of case turnaround are a high priority goal for the laboratory. At the close of 2016, the laboratory reported a backlog of 279 DNA cases with a turnaround of 51 days. Compounding this situation, the laboratory will be tasked with the analysis of 374 sexual assault evidence collection kits which have been in the custody of the Nassau County Police Department on or before February 28, 2017 as a result from the passing of a new section of NYS 838-a Executive Law pertaining to sexual assault evidence collection kits. Significant impacts on current caseload staffing, budget and turnaround are expected from this initiative. The laboratory is already experiencing 24% increase in cases submitted for analysis at the first quarter of 2017, therefore the goals and objectives of this year's program request remain the maintenance and improvement in capacity for the laboratory's customers and the prevention of backlogs associated with the increase in capacity. Through the purchase of casework reagents and consumables along with the use of funds to support personnel overtime in order to address the technical and administrative case review backlog, the laboratory has set its goal to reduce current turnaround to a maximum of 40 days.

The success of the goals and objectives proposed for this project will be measured by the expected decrease in case turnaround time and the number of CODIS eligible profiles entered into the database. Metrics will be generated by the Laboratory Information Management System report function. For this program reporting period the laboratory will be striving to meet a goal of a 40-day turnaround for the delivery of test results to its users.


Date Created: September 29, 2017