Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2017, $169,992)
The Baltimore Police Departments Crime Laboratory (BPD-CL) is the agency responsible for analyzing material evidence associated with criminal investigations for all local law enforcement agencies within the City of Baltimore performing, among other disciplines, serology screening with autosomal and YSTR DNA casework analysis.
The City of Baltimore is facing budgetary constraints and State licensing requirements through the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, as well as, the new accreditation standards following their successful International Accreditation through Forensic Quality Services. This will increase the documentation and regulation required for all sample analysis. The Federal funding from this award will be used to continue to work toward the elimination of the forensic DNA case backlog through the temporary addition of three crime laboratory assistants. These assistants will allow the laboratory to focus the efforts of the high-level forensic analysts on interpretation and reporting rather than lower level laboratory support functions.
This will ensure that BPD-CL will run more efficiently allowing a faster turnaround for analyses, free technicians for new cases, and improve the overall effectiveness of the laboratory. The BPD-CL can expect to work approximately 450 forensic biology cases that will be processed, recorded, screened, and analyzed if funded under this application with the CLAs functioning in supportive non-case reporting roles. BPD-CL will increase their work capacity by 20% regarding the average number of Forensic DNA samples analyzed per month, and the average number of forensic DNA/biology cases that are processed, recorded, screened, and analyzed.