Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $352,066)
The Forensic Biology Unit (FBU) of the Palm Beach County Sheriffs Office (PBSO) Crime Laboratory is responsible for analyzing evidential material associated with criminal investigations for over 28municipalities, the school systems and assists local Federal agencies as needed. The function of the
FBU is to conduct DNA analysis on crime scene evidence regardless of the offense.
The goal of reducing the existing forensic DNA casework backlog must be accomplished coincident with the reduction of the turnaround time for processing, recording, screening, and analyzing forensic
DNA cases. The citizens of Palm Beach County have been and will continue to be provided with fully validated technologies and methodologies in forensic DNA analysis in order to provide the highest quality casework and prevent future DNA backlogs. The Federal funding from this award will help the laboratory increase and maintain capacity as well as help the laboratory implement a more streamlined
workflow. This award will be specifically used for the following goals:
1. Decrease non-casework related activities through vendor contracts.
2. Increase the capacity of the Forensic Biology Unit.
3. Increase the efficiency of the CODIS Administrator by continuing to fund a casework position dedicated to creating and maintaining electronic case-files for outsourced DNA cases, researching
database matches, and analyzing data and compiling metrics.
4. Maintain continuing education for all analysts in the lab.
As a result of funding from this grant the PBSO Forensic Biology Unit expects to be able to continue its quest to reduce turn-around-time by increasing the focus time available for casework through the addition of resources, including probabilistic software. In turn, these additions have the potential to ultimately reduce the number of cases currently on the laboratorys backlog.