Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $974,669)
As part of this program the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) has allocated $5,184,762 to the State of Florida. Based on data obtained from the 2013 Florida Uniform Crime Report (UCR), the Miami-Dade Police Department (MDPD) Forensic Services Bureau (FSB) has been offered $974,669. The FSB proposes to use these funds to continue to increase the laboratory's capacity to analyze DNA samples, reduce the DNA sample turnaround time, and reduce the number of
backlogged DNA cases awaiting analysis.
The MDPD FSB will fund six positions with this award. Two Criminalists will function as DNA case-working analysts. A Forensic Photographer will enhance case documentation by photographing each evidence package upon submission and individual evidence items as needed. Two Police Property and Evidence Specialists (PPES) will also be funded by this award. One PPES will manage the flow of evidence within the Forensic Biology Section (FBS) and assist with shipments of outsourced DNA casework. The second PPES will scan case files for electronic storage and perform data entry associated with evidence submitted to the FBS.
Finally, the FSB needs assistance with various duties related to the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) as well as with implementation of the new Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS). In order to address this need, the FSB is requesting funding for a MDPD CODIS/LIMS Administrator.
The FSB will reduce its backlog of DNA cases by outsourcing casework to a commercial DNA
laboratory. This laboratory will conduct the DNA analysis and issue a court-ready report. To maximize the number of cases that can be outsourced, funds are requested to pay overtime to FBS Criminalists in order to conduct the screening of the evidence, prepare the samples to be shipped, conduct the DNA technical review of returned data and upload eligible profiles to
Additionally, funds are requested for travel to national DNA conferences, a site visit to the outsource laboratory and to purchase long-term DNA evidence storage freezers.
The FSB has identified these goals for this project and has formulated a detailed plan to
accomplish these goals. Ultimately, through funding from this award, the FSB will be able to increase its capacity to analyze DNA cases and reduce its backlog. This will generate more DNA profiles for CODIS entry which will aid more investigations, thus contributing to the safety of Miami-Dade County's residents.