Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $196,262)
The City of Austin is a home-rule municipality situated in Travis, Williamson, and Hays Counties of Texas. The City of Austin Police Department Forensic Sciences Division Crime Laboratory provides forensic and investigative services to over 900,000 persons residing within 307 square miles. In 2004, the city opened a state-of-the-art forensic facility and in 2005, received ASCLD/LAB Legacy Accreditation in the areas of biology, toxicology, controlled substances, firearms, latent print, and crime scene. The APD Crime Lab is accredited by ASCLD/LAB Legacy and is on schedule to transition to International. The laboratory has maintained the appropriate schedule for internal and external FBI QAS audits and resides in good standing with the FBI for use of CODIS.
With this application, the City of Austin requests $196,262 in grant funding from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, National Institute of Justice FY 2015 Forensic DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction Program for a proposed project period of January 1, 2016 - December 31, 2017. The goals of this program are to increase the capacity of the lab and reduce DNA casework backlogs, to improve the throughput of the DNA Section, and to provide required continuing education for existing city-funded forensic DNA analysts. If funding is awarded, the program anticipates improvements in the APD Crime Lab DNA Section by purposing funds for personnel, overtime, equipment, and training. The City of Austin requests grant funding in the amount of $60,176 to continue the grant funded salary of a DNA Serologist; $65,124 to allow existing laboratory employees to work on an overtime basis; $62,452 to purchase equipment; and, $8,510 to send two DNA analysts per year to a professional conferences for continuing education.
The impact of funding from the National Institute of Justice would be significant and would include: a reduction in DNA casework backlogs by a minimum 600 cases and the completion of required training for DNA Section analysts.