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FY 2018 DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction Program

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2018, $408,528)

The Scientific Investigation Section (SIS) of the Honolulu Police Department is responsible for analyzing evidential material associated with criminal investigations for the City and County of Honolulu.

The SIS maintains the only forensic deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) laboratory in the state of Hawaii. Due to its unique function in the Pacific Basin, the laboratory processes cases for local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. It is also responsible, by statute, for the state’s convicted offender databasing program.

The laboratory's backlog has surged in recent years due to increased demands for property crime testing and staff attrition. While DNA staffing dramatically increased, it temporarily drains qualified personnel who serve as trainers for the new employees. Compounding the problem, the state legislative session passed all sexual assault kit legislation with mandated turnaround times.

The majority of the awarded federal funds (79 percent) will be allocated to building capacity through the hiring of additional laboratory personnel. The increase in case processing capacity will help us to address incoming demand and reduce the backlog. Funding will also be used to ensure that new personnel have the equipment and continuing education they need to perform their work.


Date Created: September 4, 2018