Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $298,220)
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Crime Laboratory (CMPD) seeks $298,220 in federal funding to maintain four current federally funded positions and to contract with an outside agency to perform a DNA audit in accordance with the Quality Assurance Standards for Forensic DNA Testing Laboratories which requires an outside agency to perform a DNA audit every two years. The laboratory is growing and with that growth brings an increasing demand for DNA.
The CMPD has a limited budget in the laboratory for personnel and without this funding would be unable to maintain these positions. With the success of DNA in helping to solve all cases, both violent and property crimes, the number of cases submitted to the laboratory for DNA testing has increased to a size that cannot be managed with the current number of city allotted positions. The DNA analyst positions were originally funded under the FY10 DNA grant. Since then the city has picked up several positions but the demand for DNA has increasingly grown. Under the FY12 DNA Backlog Reduction grant, a trainee position was added so that we could help to alleviate the cases needed to be processed for biological fluids, so that they could be carried on to DNA; in addition, the crime lab tech was added to the biology section to help analysts with such tasks as making reagents, checking lab requests, and gathering information about cases that need to be processed for DNA.
The CMPD faces budgetary constraints in personnel. The number of cases coming into the laboratory exceeds the capacity of the current employees. We are slowly working them into our budget. The Federal funding from this award will be used for the following goals:
1. Reduce the backlog of forensic biology/DNA cases.
2. Maintain current laboratory capabilities by keeping current personnel.
3. Meet QAS Requirements by having an outside agency perform a DNA audit.