Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2016, $419,014)
The Phoenix Police Department Laboratory Services Bureau (PPD-LSB) is responsible for the analysis of evidentiary material associated with criminal investigations within the city limits of Phoenix, Arizona. The PPD-LSB has a fully operational Forensic Biology Section that is responsible for the screening of evidentiary items for biological evidence, the DNA analysis of biological evidence and the outsourcing of cases for DNA analysis. The PPD-LSB has a demonstrated history, over the last 10 years, of successfully managing over 39 state and federal grants totaling over $8.7 million dollars and achieving the project goals.
As with most governmental entities, the PPD-LSB is facing budgetary constraints but continues to focus on addressing the challenges associated with backlogged cases awaiting DNA analysis. Areas of focus for this grant proposal are improving turnaround time and to reduce the backlog by implementing the Lean Six Sigma Program, providing overtime for analysts to complete the analyses of cases, upgrading obsolete equipment and software, hiring a contract employee to help with the review of case files and improving storage of evidence in the laboratory to handle the high volume of sexual assault kits (SAKs) entering the laboratory as a result of the PPDs policy to test all SAKs.
The Federal funding from this award will be used for the following goals:
1. The DNA analysis of backlogged Forensic Biology cases by the use of overtime.
2. Provide required continuing education to analysts.
3. Replace aging equipment and software.
4. Purchase equipment and supplies to address the expected increase in SAKs received in the laboratory.
5. Hire a contract worker to assist in the review of internal and external DNA case files.
6. Complete site visits of vendor laboratories for both 2017 and 2018.
7. Contract for one external audit for the PPD-LSB Forensic Biology DNA Section.
8. Contract with a vendor to implement the Lean Six Sigma Program to implement efficiency practices to increase the analytical capacity of the Unit.