Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $199,136)
The Scientific Investigation Section (SIS) of the Honolulu Police Department is responsible for analyzing evidential material associated with criminal investigations for the City and County of Honolulu. The SIS maintains the only forensic deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) laboratory in the state of Hawaii. Due to its unique function in the Pacific basin, the laboratory processes cases for local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. It is also responsible, by statute, for the states convicted offender databasing program.
A recent surge in DNA analysis requests for property crimes has exacerbated an already extensive backlog of cases awaiting analyses and a high turnover of qualified laboratory personnel. In light of its current capacity, the SIS is reluctant to support all-arrestee and all-sex assault kit legislation due to concerns over the critical nature of this backlog and the growing number of DNA requests.
The majority of the awarded federal funds (88 percent) will be allocated to building capacity through the hiring of laboratory personnel. The increase in case processing capacity will help us to address current backlogs and prepare for the anticipated future demand for services. The remainder of the funds will be allocated toward meeting the continuing education requirements of the Federal Bureau of Investigations Quality Assurance Standards.