Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $2,162,375)
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) is an independent agency / department of the State of Tennessee, is accountable to the District Attorneys General and to the Judiciary for its performance of services and to the Executive and Legislative branches for support functions, and is Tennessee's primary criminal investigative agency. As such, the Bureau is responsible for providing support to local law enforcement agencies in joint investigations and for investigating crimes at the request of the local District Attorneys General for each of the states Judicial Districts. Furthermore, the TBI has original jurisdiction over crimes related to drugs, fugitives, public corruption, official misconduct, organized crime, illegal gambling, Medicaid provider fraud, patient abuse, social security administration fraud, cybercrime, domestic terrorism and employees or prospective employees of the bureau. The TBI is headquartered in Nashville and is comprised of six major divisions: the Criminal Investigation Division, the Drug Investigation Division, the Forensic Services Division, the Information Systems Division, the Administrative Services Division, and the Training Division.
The TBIs Forensic Services Division (FSD) is responsible for processing evidence for every law enforcement agency and medical examiner in the state. The FSD is comprised of a central laboratory in Nashville and regional laboratories in Knoxville and Memphis. These laboratories provide forensic analysis of biological, chemical and physical evidence in specialized units. The TBI is an approved National DNA Index (NDIS) participating laboratory, which allows for the upload of acceptable DNA profiles into the FBIs Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) database from all convicted felons, registered sex offenders, and individuals arrested for certain violent felony offenses.
Currently, the three DNA units have a collective turnaround time of approximately 191 days for all casework (169 days per case for DNA analysis), with a collective 67 samples worked per analyst per month (35 DNA samples worked per analyst per month).
The primary concerns that the TBI continues to encounter in relation to DNA Casework include budget constraints for the purchase of supplies, staff turnover, and a large influx of outsourced cases that require review. The primary concerns that the TBI continues to encounter in relation to the DNA Database are a lack of funding for the collection and processing of the database samples and a limited number of staff to do so. Federal funding, as a result of this application, will be used to address these challenges as further described in the Program Narrative.