U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

FY 2015 DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction Program

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $295,179)

The Kern County District Attorney’s Office – Forensic Science Division (Kern Regional Crime Laboratory) has demonstrated improvements in turn-around-time and backlog reduction over the last several years with the infusion of funds provided by the DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction Programs. DNA grant funds have provided for the hiring and training of two new DNA Criminalists, improved the DNA unit’s automation with the purchase of instrumentation and equipment, and provided training funds for the required continuing education of staff.
To date, Kern County has supported the sustainability of these efforts by supporting salary and benefits of the additional personnel, and providing additional revenue to maintain and run the instrumentation mentioned above. Due to the economic downturn and County budgetary constraints, however, the laboratory is faced with the layoff of two (2) of our DNA Criminalists. Due to the difficulty in recruiting DNA scientists and the mandatory Civil Service rules regarding layoffs, our DNA Criminalists are the most vulnerable for elimination. Moreover, because the two most recent hires in the DNA unit are the only individuals with graduate degrees, the proposed layoffs directly affect the laboratory's ability to train individuals to take over the responsibilities of the DNA Technical Lead Criminalist. Therefore, loss of staff within the DNA unit would not only jeopardize the level of qualified personnel who are available to perform casework, it jeopardizes the future of the unit itself.
The Kern County District Attorney’s Office requests to use $291,984.00 of grant funds from the FY 2015 DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction Program to continue funding the salaries and benefits of two full-time DNA Criminalists. In addition, the grant funds will enable the laboratory to hire a temporary, full-time DNA Technical Lead Criminalist to oversee the DNA unit.


Date Created: September 20, 2015