Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2011, $500,000)
A five-member Cold Case Team, implemented at the agency in 2002, is tasked with investigating older cases in addition to investigating all officer-involved shootings and all in-custody deaths involving the use of force. With approximately 1,300 homicide cold cases dating back to 1960, the workload on this small squad is immense. Determining which cases to fully investigate based on the probability they contain DNA evidence, and performing the investigation, is taken on as time and funding permit. However, even with the limited resources currently available, the Cold Case team has developed a system to successfully investigate a number of these cases over the past eight years. The investigations have led to several arrests and convictions, including one for a serial killer who had committed six murders between 1999 and 2003.
Under this 18-month grant project, we will increase the number of homicide and sexual assault cold case investigations undertaken by providing overtime to Homicide and Sex Crimes unit personnel (36 Detectives and seven Sergeants) to more fully investigate those cases; providing funding for evidence analysis by fully accredited DNA laboratories; providing travel expenses for detectives to interview witnesses or suspects during the investigative phase; and providing training opportunities for investigators to improve and update their skills in DNA evidence, cold case, and violent crimes investigations.