Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $1,177,154)
This proposal will provide funding to enable the Pennsylvania State Police, Bureau of Forensic Services reduce the number of backlog DNA cases, and reduce the number backlog database samples. Funds are requested to replace and upgrade existing equipment, as well as purchase supplies for the analysis of casework and database sample. Overtime is requested for serology personnel to screen the cases prior to submission to the Forensic DNA Division. Overtime is also sought for DNA personnel to process, analyze, and review backlog cases or backlog database samples.
The Pennsylvania State Police, Forensic DNA Division provides DNA analysis for the entire commonwealth at no cost to law enforcement agencies. This includes 67 counties and approximately 1,000 police agencies. The Pennsylvania State Police, Bureau of Forensic Services is an ASCLD/LAB accredited laboratory system with six (6) regional crime laboratories and one (1) Forensic DNA Division. The six regional laboratories screen biological evidence and submit probative items to the DNA as well as provide other services such drug analysis, ballistics, documents, and trace.
By increasing the capacity of the laboratory, the analysts will be able to analyze more samples and cases per month. This increase in the number of cases worked will result in the casework backlog being reduced.
The Forensic DNA Division is the state site for CODIS within the commonwealth which includes the DNA convicted offender databank. All eligible DNA profiles will be uploaded into NDIS. The Pennsylvania State Police Forensic DNA Division is dedicated to reducing its current average turn around time in DNA analysis. By increasing the capacity of the laboratory, the analysts will be able to analyze more database samples per month. This increase in the number of samples worked will result in the backlog of offender database samples being reduced.
At the end of the grant period, the laboratorys aim is to reduce the current and anticipated backlogs in DNA. The goal is to reduce the turnaround time in both the serology section and Forensic DNA Division. The DNA laboratory will set its productivity goal per forensic scientist to reduce turnaround time per case. It is hoped this grant will provide the ability to process more and decrease the days it takes for a case to be completed.