Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $1,450,000)
The Office of Chief Medical Examiner, Department of Forensic Biology, serves as the public forensic laboratory for the City of New York and provides serology and DNA testing on thousands of case submissions every year. In 2014 a total of 25,272 DNA samples were extracted, with STR profiles generated, analyzed, and reviewed. As a result, the Department of Forensic Biology uploaded 4,191 profiles into CODIS. During the same year 815 cold hits to offender matches, 224 case-to-case matches and 470 conviction matches in 2014. Within the first quarter of 2015 the Department uploaded 1,079 profiles and had 485 matches.
The Department of Forensic Biologys 2016/17 goals are to increase the current capacity and reduce by half the turnaround time and case backlog, currently 115 and 2,300, to 58 and 1,150 respectively. The FY15 DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction program proposal aims to achieve productivity and timeliness of DNA testing by focusing on the following actions:
1) Increase available staff hours through overtime, supplies and previous grant funded staff
2) Support current service contract to cover the laboratorys pipette calibration, idashboards and Genemarker software
3) Provide continuing education through scientific conferences and professional meetings travel
The goal is to reduce backlog and turnaround time by half within the 24 months of this grant period through process improvements and continued overtime and supplies funding.