Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $1,172,752)
The Houston Forensic Science Center (HFSC) is a uniquely independent forensic science laboratory operation that operates eight disciplines in the City of Houston. HFSC provides forensic science services to the largest police department in the State of Texas, the Houston Police Department as well as a growing number of other stakeholders in the region. One of the eight disciplines is Forensic Biology/DNA.
The goals for seeking NIJ FY 2015 DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Program funds are as to:
further increase laboratory capacity
prevent future backlogs
decrease turnaround times for sample testing
continue to improve quality
Funding is requested to increase efficiency by 10% by employing Lean Six Sigma concepts. We propose to work with consultant partners to, continue to evaluate our process and meet and exceed quality standards. We propose additional external training of staff and provide evidence of adherence to accreditation standards through external auditing. We realize that Lean Six Sigma implementation may initially result in an increased backlog due to reallocation of staff to new duties and processes. We request funding to minimize this impact on casework by providing overtime hours (hours actually worked over 40 hours per week) to trained DNA analysts for a total of 1000 hours and completion of 200 cases. Lastly, because there has been a continued increase in the demand for DNA testing, funding is requested for additional DNA kits and other consumables as we continue to automate processes and implement new technologies and processes.
- Quantitative Assessment of Fracture Characteristics in Blunt Force Skeletal Trauma for Forensic Interpretations
- Strengthening Scientific Foundations for Advancing Best Practices in the Collection, Storage, Analysis, and Interpretation of Organic and Inorganic Gunshot Residues
- Development of a Stable Matrix-Matched Standard for Molecular and Elemental Analysis of Hair in Forensic Toxicology