Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2018, $150,000)
Mesa Forensic Services is responsible for the collection and examination of evidence from all types of crimes committed within this community of over 484,000 residents, which is the 38th largest city in the United States. Forensic Services is composed of ten units. The Toxicology, Firearms, Biology, Controlled Substances, Crime Scene, Evidence processing, Latent Print and Quality Assurance Units are accredited by the ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board (Certificate #ALI-386-T).
The Mesa Forensic Services Biology Unit, consisting of 7 employees is responsible for processing biological evidence from homicides, sexual assaults, burglaries and numerous other crimes. During 2017, members of the unit processed over 3000 samples and prepared over 1500 reports regarding their scientific analyses. The laboratory is a National DNA Index System (NDIS) participant.
The laboratory intends to increase capacity using existing personnel. Federal funding in the amount of $150,000.00 from this award will be used for the following goals:
1. Reduce the backlog of forensic biology/DNA cases.
2. Increase the capacity of the Mesa Police Department Forensic Services Biology Unit.
It is estimated that a minimum of 50 forensic DNA cases can be analyzed within the 24-month award project period using the Federal funding requested under this FY 2018 program.
The laboratory expects to reduce the average turnaround time by approximately 9% and the backlog by approximately 10%. The average turnaround time would be reduced to approximately 50 days and the number of untested/not completed forensic biology/DNA cases would be reduced to approximately 210.