Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2017, $195,370)
The Crime Laboratory, under the Office of the Santa Clara County District Attorney, is the local government laboratory responsible for the analysis of physical evidence collected within Santa Clara County. It serves over 13 criminal justice agencies, including the Sheriff and Medical Examiners Offices.
Crimes reported for Santa Clara County in calendar year 2015, included 4,801 violent crimes, 45,140 property crimes, 27,419 instances of larceny-theft, and 193 cases of arson. The Forensic Biology/DNA Unit of the crime laboratory is a full-service laboratory providing biological screening of evidence, autosomal STR analysis, and Y-STR analysis.
The SCCCL is currently facing budgetary constraints in California, which makes assistance through Federal funding essential to decrease the laboratory's backlog. Additionally, Assembly Bill l517 has caused an increase in DNA case submissions to analyze sexual assault evidence; therefore, we need funding to meet customer demands. We propose using the Federal award to achieve the following goals:
1. Increase the capacity of the DNA casework laboratory.
2. Reduce the number of samples awaiting analysis through decreased turnaround times and increased throughput.
The DNA casework laboratory requests funding through this award to purchase two (2) liquid handler robots, customization features for the DNA Units LIMS, and new thermal cyclers to replace older units. Through these purchases, we intend to increase capacity, increase sample throughput, decrease turnaround times, and reduce the DNA backlog.