Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2016, $340,027)
The Pinellas County Forensic Laboratory seeks funding from the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) FY2017 Forensic DNA Backlog Reduction Program for casework capacity enhancement and backlog reduction of $340,027. This funding will be used to increase laboratory capacity by funding 1.5 FTE DNA analytical positions, casework supplies, overtime for processing samples for DNA analysis, a genetic analyzer, and validation supplies for the genetic analyzer.
The laboratories will use the funds to allow for an analytical capacity to a level that cannot be achieved with the current state of local funding. Recent large increases in property crime submissions and legislative changes to sexual assault kit analysis submissions have had a negative impact on the laboratory turnaround time and capacity. Local funding has been allocated to help alieve the impact, however, additional assistance is necessary to meet the investigative needs of the criminal justice community and keep turnaround times at an effective level.
A replacement genetic analyzer will be used replace and end-of-service life of a current instrument. The new instrument will allow for additional capacity and redundancy and will allow the laboratory to analyze sample on multiple platforms (Global Filer, Y-Filer, Mini-Filer) at the same time. The new instrument has a higher capacity (additional injection probes) that current instrumentation, thus further increasing analytical capacity.
All work is to be accomplished in the twenty-four month period designated by the award solicitation. With these funds we will reduce the overall turnaround time for handling, screening, analyzing and reviewing forensic DNA samples, increase the number of DNA cases analyzed, upgrade and expand instrumental capabilities.
PCFL expects to complete 300 additional DNA cases, conduct 200 additional technical reviews, and screen/process 100 cases for subsequent DNA analysis. nca/ncf