Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2017, $154,148)
The Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff Forensic Services Division (FSD) is an accredited crime laboratory under the American Society of Crime Lab Directors-Laboratory Accreditation Board (ASCLD/LAB). The crime laboratory provides forensic services to more than 24 law enforcement agencies within Contra Costa County, servicing over one million residents.
The FY17 DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction (CEBR) Program grant funds will be used to provide salary and fringe benefits for one Biology Unit staff, a Forensic Analyst Project position. This full-time employee will provide the Biology Unit support with capacity enhancement-specific activities, such as validation of new technologies, equipment operation, sample set-up, reagent preparation, quality assurance/quality control tasks, research, special projects and casework.
In addition, the laboratory seeks to purchase a 3500 Genetic Analyzer. The 3500 is equipped with an 8-capillary array, able to accept two 96 well sample plates, and delivers results quickly. This new instrument will replace two 310 Genetic Analyzers that only support a single capillary sample processing system. The 3500 will allow the Biology Unit staff to increase their capacity, capabilities and better manage case flow and sample throughput. In addition, the laboratory has met the January 1st, 2017, FBI mandates by completing the validation of a 27-locus multiplex 6-dye STR kit, and incorporating into casework the expanded CODIS core loci.
With the addition of support personnel and higher capacity DNA instrumentation, the laboratory will be able to better meet the needs of the community we serve.