The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) is responsible for testing DNA/biology cases from all law enforcement agencies in Ohio. BCI operates three regional forensic science laboratories throughout the state. The London and Richfield regional laboratories have full forensic DNA casework laboratories. Forensic biology is performed at the Bowling Green regional laboratory. BCI continues to decrease turnaround time and increase capacity.
The number of requests for DNA/Biology testing has risen continuously over the last several years and this trend is expected to continue. In 2011, BCI received 3652 DNA analysis requests. In 2012, requests increased 54% to 5621. In 2013, requests again increased 35% to 7577. In 2014, requests further increased 8% to 8184. With the 2014 closure of the Canton-Stark Regional Crime Laboratory DNA unit, the number of requests for BCI services has increased. Additionally, BCI is working a substantial number of cases from the Columbus laboratory area. In 2013, BCI received 662 DNA analysis requests from the Columbus Police 586 in 2014.
The untested rape kit testing initiative has significantly affected caseloads above and beyond that generated by current offenses.
With the supply monies requested, the laboratory will be able to analyze at least 812 cases above and beyond the number that will be analyzed using other sources of funding while maintaining a turnaround time of 25 days or less for active casework. BCI is not requesting any funds for outsourcing case samples.
Funding from this award will be used to advance the following goals:
1. Reduce the DNA/Biology case backlog and decrease the turnaround time through the purchase of supplies.
2. Increase the capacity of the DNA/Biology laboratory by purchasing new equipment.