Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2018, $349,749)
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 2016, included 5,423 violent crimes, 42,797 property crimes, 25,318 instances of larceny-theft, and 248 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.
Accordingly, federal funds will be used to support the following goal:
Increase the DNA casework laboratorys capacity to ultimately increase sample throughput, decrease turnaround times, and reduce the backlog.
The DNA casework laboratory requests funding through this award to purchase one (1) liquid handler robot for sexual assault evidence, one (1) extraction robot for DNA isolation, DNA module enhancement features for the DNA Units Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS), two (2) new upgraded DNA quantification systems, upgraded computer hardware, additional data interpretation GeneMapper (GM) ID-X software licenses, and upgrades to current GM ID-X software licenses to version 1.6. Through these purchases, we intend to increase capacity, increase sample throughput, decrease turnaround times, and reduce the DNA Units backlog.