Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $307,048)
The Cuyahoga County, Ohio Regional Forensic Science Laboratory (CCRFSL) is the primary DNA Analysis Laboratory for Cuyahoga County and the region. Cuyahoga County comprises 59 municipalities with the City of Cleveland being the largest city in the County. The CCRFSL maintains the following accreditations: ASCLD/LAB-Intemational, American Board of Forensic Toxicology, American Association of Blood Banks (AABB) and maintains compliance with the FBI Quality Assurance Standards for Forensic DNA Testing Laboratories for inclusion in the Combined DNA Index System/National DNA Index System (CODIS/NDIS).
In 2014 the Laboratory completed a $2.5 Million expansion of the Crime Lab and as of January
I, 2015 began offering free testing to all jurisdictions in the County. Due to the expansion and free testing services, the Laboratory has experienced a significant increase of casework and will continue to see increases as more and more jurisdictions submit Part 1 Crime casework to the Lab.
In 2013 the Lab accepted 681 requests for casework and in 2014 the Lab accepted 882 requests for casework (408 sexual assault, 231 non-fatal, 152 homicide, 45 overdose/suspicious deaths and 10 cold case requests), which represents a 29.51% increase in casework.
To address the increase of casework to the Lab, the Medical Examiner has added general funded DNA Analysts and DNA Technician positions and has acquired new instrumentation with non grant fund dollars but grant funds remain critical in capacity enhancement as well as backlog reduction.
Given the increase of casework it is not clear how backlog statistics will fluctuate, however the CCRFSL is optimistic that these numbers will be in a positive direction as a result of the funding under the FY 2015 Cuyahoga County DNA Backlog Grant.
This year's project will address capacity enhancement and backlog reduction and will consist of the following:
1. Procurement of 7500 SDS RT PCR Instrument and laboratory equipment to include
refrigerators, freezers and centrifuges.
2. Procurement of DNA consumable supplies.
3. Overtime for DNA analysts and technicians to reduce backlog.
4. Continuing professional development for DNA staff.