Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $366,258)
The mission of the Utah Department of Public Safety - Bureau of Forensic Services (BFS) is to provide a safe and secure environment for the citizens of Utah through the application of forensic science. The goal of the forensic biology section is to use DNA technology to help agencies achieve case closure. The laboratory provides accurate and sound science during forensic biology and DNA analysis, while striving to maintain a rapid response to analysis requests.
BFS maintains three laboratories throughout the State of Utah: Northern, Southern and Central laboratories. The forensic biology section is located in the Central laboratory and is responsible for analyzing and processing all forensic DNA samples as well as storing, processing, and maintaining all forensic DNA database samples. The BFS continues to see an increase in case submissions for DNA analysis as well as an increase in the number of samples per case and a continual demand for timely results and reports. BFS continues to strive to implement new and innovative ways to process cases to help eliminate our case backlog.
The Federal funding from this award will be used for the following goals:
1. Reduce the forensic DNA case backlog and decrease case turnaround times by purchasing equipment to help streamline casework and maintain the forensic scientist hired with previous grants.
2. Increase the capacity of the Utah Bureau of Forensic Services by purchasing automated extraction instruments.
3. Provide required continuing education by funding training opportunities for DNA analysts.
4. Decrease/maintain CODIS backlog through outsourcing of offender samples.
BFS anticipates reducing our DNA case backlog by increasing throughput in the biology section. The laboratory expects to process at least 5,800 database samples using Federal funding. The goal of BFS is to decrease and maintain a turnaround time to less than 60 days, while sample throughput for serology/DNA will increase by 10%.