Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2016, $199,919)
The City of Austin is a home-rule municipality situated in Travis, Williamson, and Hays Counties of Texas. The City of Austin Police Department Forensic Sciences Division Crime Laboratory provides forensic and investigative services to over 900,000 persons residing within 307 square miles. In 2004, the city opened a state-of-the-art forensic facility and in 2005, In the fall of 2015, the APD Crime Lab underwent successful ASCLD/LAB International Program and FBI audits, and is in good standing with the FBI for the use of CODIS.
With this application, the City of Austin requests $199,919 in grant funding from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, National Institute of Justice FY 2016 Forensic DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction Program to continue the grant funded salary of a DNA Evidence Technician; allow existing laboratory employees to work on an overtime basis; purchase updated technology; and, send five DNA analysts to two professional trainings.
The overall project goals are to increase the capacity of the APD Crime Lab DNA Section and to reduce the backlog of DNA casework samples. The following program objectives are linked to essential services with measurable outcomes: to decrease sample turnaround time (from investigative requests to the production of results), to increase the number of samples analyzed per analyst per month, to increase the percentage of DNA profiles uploaded to CODIS, and to improve the knowledge and skills of DNA Analysts. The APD Crime Lab expects that implementation activities will result in a 15% reduction in DNA casework turnaround by the end of year 1 and an additional 15% decrease in the turnaround time by the end of the grant period. By the end of the award period, it is also expected that all DNA Section analysts will have fulfilled their required continuing education, five with grant assistance during year 1 of this project. nca/ncf