Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $164,327)
The Hamilton County Coroner's Office and Laboratory continues to face budgetary challenges and reduced funding from the Hamilton County local government. This award will ensure uninterrupted processing of Forensic Biology/DNA evidence that would otherwise be curtailed.
The goals and objectives of this project are threefold. First, with this grant funding, the Hamilton County Coroners Laboratory plans to increase the capacity of the DNA section by upgrading our current Genetic Analyzer data processing computer. A faster, more reliable computer for data processing, with increased storage capacity, will decrease the risk of down time due to computer failure. We plan to use this grant funding to replace a broken DNA thermal cycler which will also increase capacity of the section. We also intend to upgrade our CODIS server and workstation in order to stay current with computer technology.
Secondly, we plan to reduce the backlog of forensic biology and DNA cases awaiting analysis by at least 120 cases. Grant funds will permit the purchasing of critical reagents and supplies necessary for the processing of these backlogged cases. The laboratory will process these cases in-house using existing procedures and recently upgraded equipment.
Lastly, the Hamilton County Coroners Laboratory plans to use grant funding to maintain the quality of DNA examinations in the laboratory. Monies will be used to help fund the purchase of proficiency tests for each analyst, as mandated by the FBI QAS document. We will also expend funds to purchase NIST standards for DNA profiling as well as quantification. These NIST standards will help the DNA section maintain the quality of operations in the section as well as comply with the FBI QAS document. Grant funds will also allow for the continuing education and professional development of the DNA analysts, as required by the FBI QAS document.
With reduced financial support from the local government, this federal funding will allow for the purchase of upgraded equipment to enhance the capacity of the DNA section. It will permit the purchase of critical reagents and other supplies necessary for the processing of backlogged cases, which would otherwise be delayed without this funding. The monies will also allow for the continuing education and professional development of the DNA analysts, as required by the FBI QAS document.