Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2017, $150,000)
Fraud/identity theft and property crimes remain the largest proportion of crimes within the Cities of Burbank and Glendale. Property crimes compromise over 90% of UCR Type 1 crimes, while financial crimes have been the most difficult of UCR Type II crimes to investigate.
The Verdugo Regional Crime Laboratory (VRCL) was founded mainly to address the demand for DNA testing of evidence recovered from property and financial crimes within these cities. The Verdugo Regional Crime Laboratory, accredited in May 2013, has assumed forensic DNA testing of all GPD cases and accepts cases from other regional local and federal law enforcement agencies.
In order to address increase demands in DNA testing and the existing DNA backlog, the VRCL Forensic Biology Unit increased its staffing to include two DNA analysts trainees and one part-time DNA validation specialist in 2016. Funds will be used to acquire equipment and mixture interpretation software in order to address bottlenecks in sample processing. By strategically adding equipment without needing additional validation resources, the VRCL Forensic Biology Unit will be able to increase sample capacity and reduce the number of backlogged cases.