Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $598,279)
The City of Las Vegas and the surrounding area of Clark County, Nevada, have a current population in excess of 2 million persons and hosted over 41 million visitors in 2014. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) Forensic Lab operates as a unit of local government providing full service forensic analysis capabilities. In addition, it is the sole provider of forensic DNA analysis services to all of southern Nevada. The LVMPD Forensic Laboratory also operates and administers the Southern Nevada Combined DNA Index System (CODIS). The database is a CODIS Local installation with casework, convicted offender and felony arrestee (as of July 2014) responsibilities.
The Biology/DNA Detail of the LVMPD processes biological evidence associated with violent offenses including: homicides, sexual assaults, robberies, attempted homicides, and kidnapping cases. Additionally, it processes a full range of property crimes, including burglaries and vehicle thefts in southern Nevada.
The LVMPD Forensic Laboratory, Biology/DNA Detail is faced with budgetary constraints and case backlogs. The Federal funding from this award will be used for the following goals:
1. Reduce the backlog of Biology/DNA cases and decrease turnaround time through outsourcing DNA cases and using overtime to process DNA cases in-house.
2. Increase the capacity of the LVMPD Forensic Biology/DNA Detail through overtime for performing a validation of new expanded loci amplification kit.
3. Maintain the capabilities of the Biology/DNA Detail through semi-annual pipette calibration.
4. Maintain DNA database sample collection requirements by purchasing database collection kits for use in the southern half of Nevada.
5. Fulfill the FBI's Quality Assurance Standards DNA education requirements by sending DNA staff to conferences and with literature review through purchasing subscriptions to scientific journals and books.
The LVMPD Biology/DNA Detail expects to process at least 133 cases in-house with federal-funded overtime. An additional 400 cases currently contained in DNAs backlog are targeted to be completed through grant funded outsourcing of casework to the lab chosen through the competitive bid process. Processing cases in-house on overtime combined with outsourcing DNA cases will work towards reducing the overall backlog of DNA cases at the LVMPD, with the goal of reducing case turnaround time from 255 days to 225 days. An additional goal is to increase the capacity of the Biology/DNA Detail from processing an average of 37 samples per analyst per month to 40 samples per analyst per month.