Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2016, $662,397)
The AZ DPS SAB is currently experiencing budget shortfalls, staffing shortages associated with both hiring freezes and attrition, issues with the recent attention on backlogged sex assault kits, and a steady incline in the submission of forensic DNA evidence. In order to address these issues, the SAB continues to evaluate and implement more efficient processes while also keeping up to date with advancing technology and new FBI mandates. Therefore, the Federal funding from the twenty-four months period of this grant request would be utilized to accomplish the following goals:
Continue to fund a casework lab technician and two database lab technicians previously funded under the FY15 grant in order to allow DNA casework and database analysts to focus their efforts on processing case samples.
Fund supplies for new kits which are in compliance with the FBIs mandated expansion of the original core loci to a new CODIS core containing 20 loci by January 2017.
Fund the purchase of additional equipment which will prevent process bottlenecking due to a lack of available instrumentation. Additional equipment will aid in the processing of cases from other regional SAB labs who are working on implementing new processes while minimizing any negative impact on turnaround times.
With the additional processes being brought online in the sex assault and property crimes units, the implementation of the new expanded DNA kits and increases in the submission of sex assault kits, additional supplies will be necessary. The current State budget for the SAB will limit the amount of analyses that can be completed. This requires the SAB to seek supplemental funding for the additional supplies necessary to address backlogs, improve turnaround times and comply with new FBI mandates.
Fund supplies for downstream DNA analysis as needed due to increased throughput of Y-screened cases using more efficient workflows.
Outsource the review of data generated by laboratories who are under contract through the DANY Grant to analyze backlogged sexual assault kits from State law enforcement agencies. Many local law enforcement agencies have taken advantage of this grant and are outsourcing samples to approved DNA laboratories. However, all data is being funneled through the DPS SAB for review and upload of CODIS eligible profiles. This is going to place a significant strain on staff who are currently challenged with staffing shortages and expeditious turnaround times for sexual assault kits.
Utilize overtime funds to reduce significant backlogs in Property Crimes. Funding from this grant will be used to reduce the number of backlogged Property Crimes cases older than 2015.
Utilize overtime funds to reduce any backlogged violent crimes cases. The goal is to ultimately have 0 violent crimes cases older than 60 days.