Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $451,749)
The Phoenix Police Department Laboratory Services Bureau (PPD-LSB) is responsible for analyzing evidentiary material associated with criminal investigations within the city limits of Phoenix, Arizona. The Unit is currently training additional Forensic Biology staff in DNA analysis and therefore is expected to realize an increase throughput in 2016. However, due to the number of cases that are submitted each year, it is still difficult to sufficiently address both the case submissions as well as backlog reduction.
As with most governmental entities, the PPD-LSB is facing budgetary constraints, but continues to focus on addressing the challenges associated with a backlog of DNA cases awaiting analysis. By processing cases through the use of outsourcing and overtime, the backlog will be reduced by over 4%. The Federal funding from this award will be used for the following goals:
1. Analyze backlogged Forensic Biology cases
2. Enhance the Forensic Biology Unit's capability of conducting analytical interpretations
on complex DNA mixtures
3. Provide required continuing education to analysts
4. Replace aging equipment in the DNA unit to ensure continued operations
The unit expects to process at least 270 backlogged DNA cases (240 DNA outsource cases and 30 DNA cases on overtime) and 60 Biology cases on overtime. In addition, STRmix expert forensic software will greatly enhance both the interpretive and statistical DNA capabilities as this continuous approach allows for statistics to be applied to complex DNA results that are not able to be interpreted. Currently, due to the large number of cases with complex DNA results, this is expected to progressively increase the number of investigations that the PPD-LSB is able to aid with DNA analysis.