Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $256,483)
The Prince Georges County Forensic Science Division, an ASCLD-LAB accredited Laboratory is requesting $256,483.00 under the 2015 DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction Program for the purpose of: 1- Reducing the DNA backlog by 50% by outsourcing 120 backlogged cases and funding overtime for 3 DNA analysts to conduct reviews of serology screened and DNA cases; 2- Ensure that the DNA Manager/Technical Leader and 3 analysts are kept abreast of developing DNA technologies through continuing education and 3- Increase the efficiency in the front end of the analysis process with the purchase of a compound microscope, that will reduce the bottle neck that exists from having only two microscopes. In the last two years the DNA Unit has experienced severe staff shortages with the loss of 4 staff members in the last year and a half. In addition our operation was severely interrupted when ALL our DNA analysts were unable to work in the DNA unit because of a medical issue in 2014. This created a backlog of cases waiting for analysis and reviews. This backlog is likely to increase until our staffing levels increase and new Analysts are trained. The County is also experiencing a $62.5 million shortfall. This has resulted in a reduction of funding opportunities for continuing education. It is likely that our staff will have to be furloughed in the near future, further affecting our operations. The use of grant funds from this grant will ensure that our analysts maintain and keep abreast of the changing technologies and meet their continuing education obligation as well as continue to produce an excellent product.