Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2016, $234,609)
The Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI) Forensic Laboratory is the agency that is responsible for the analysis of evidentiary samples from possible crimes for all state and local law enforcement agencies and medical examiners offices within the state of Kansas. The KBI has four laboratories within the system three of which conduct DNA testing. The three laboratories conducting DNA testing are Great Bend (West Region Laboratory); Topeka (headquarters), and Kansas City. The KBI laboratory in Topeka also houses the Databank Laboratory.
The State of Kansas will be collaborating with the other two laboratories in the state in a joint training that will be hosted by the KBI for the implementation of the STRMix software. This will ensure a consistent message to our customers in the realm of court regarding mixture interpretation.
The KBI Biology section of the Forensic Laboratory currently has nine qualified DNA scientists. The laboratory lost three qualified DNA scientists in 2015. One of the qualified DNA scientists also serves as supervisor and the DNA technical leader. Two scientists are completing training in DNA analysis with an expected completion time of late 2016 or early 2017. A new supervisor for Topeka Biology has been hired and will be going through a modified training program. All three casework laboratories are facing backlogs of screening and DNA cases. At the end of 2016, all three laboratories will be on line with the expanded core loci and hopefully in early 2017, the new probabilistic software, STRMix will be implemented.
Federal funding from this award will be used for the following goals.
1. To continue funding for salary and benefits for a Forensic Scientist II in the Kansas City Laboratory and a part-time Laboratory Technician for the Great Bend Laboratory. These positions have been funded by the previous DNA Backlog reduction grants.
2. Purchase five copies of the STRMix program and provide the necessary support and training to not only Kansas Bureau of Investigation scientists but also scientists from Johnson County and Sedgwick County.