Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2016, $312,241)
The Oakland Police Department (OPD) Criminalistics Laboratory is the agency responsible for analyzing evidential material associated with criminal investigations for the City of Oakland, California. The Oakland Police Department is applying as a unit of local government for a grant of $312,241.
Forensic Biology Unit (FBU) capacity and case completion turnaround times at the OPD Laboratory have improved significantly as a result of funds received from the National Institute of Justices DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction Programs (Program). The Federal funding from this award will continue the reduction of backlogged cases and maintain capacity by funding supplies to analyze forensic backlog casework and funding the salaries of the Program funded positions. Additionally Program funds will pay training events to meet the continuing education requirements for the laboratorys accreditation requirements, NDIS, FBI DNA Quality Assurance Standards, and scientist certification.
This award will be specifically used for the following goals:
1. Reduce the backlog and maintain the capacity and capabilities of the OPD Laboratory Forensic Biology Unit.
2. Retain Biology Unit staff by continuing to fund salaries and benefits of 1.0 FTE Criminalist and 1.0 FTE Forensic DNA Technician.
3. Maintain continuing education for the Criminalists and the Forensic Technician.
The OPD Laboratory expects to analyze at least 80 forensic biology/ DNA cases with the Program funded criminalist and 20 backlog cases with the Program funded supplies. The lab expects to reduce the turnaround time from assignment to the scientist to completion of the case report to 50 business days on average and increase the productivity of each Criminalist to 50 samples per month. The DNA profiles obtained from probative evidence will be entered into the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS), and uploaded to the National DNA Index System (NDIS) when match estimation requirements are met. Based upon experience we anticipate a 35% Hit-Rate. The decrease in turnaround time and the increase in the number of DNA samples analyzed will enable the lab to increase the number of cases completed annually.