Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2016, $844,736)
The Kentucky State Police Forensic Laboratories (KSPFL) has continued to provide DNA analysis to the Commonwealth of Kentucky since 1989. During this period of 27 years many technological advances have occurred in DNA analysis. Along with these technological advances, procedural changes have been implemented within the KSPFL to accommodate the ever advancing science of DNA analysis. First, current evaluations have identified a continued need to purchase reagents utilized in DNA analysis in both the casework and database sections. These reagents include amplification and quantification kits. Second, evaluations have identified that the database section is in need of additional technological items to assist in increasing throughput. These items include two thermocyclers, sample storage upgrade, collection kits and software updates to the current database LIMS system module. Third, is a lack of additional analytical time dedicated to processing cases in the casework and database sections. Submissions that request DNA analysis are increasing and are being requested in a wider variety of case types. This trend leads to larger backlogs and longer turn around times (TAT). Fourth, is the need for analysts to attend workshops and training to stay abreast of new advances and techniques in the forensic biology field as the topics relate to both casework and database.
By providing high throughput procedures, overtime (OT) hours, reagents, and training opportunities the Kentucky State Police Forensic Laboratory Casework and Database section anticipates that the TAT will decrease along with the number of backlogged cases.