Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2017, $150,000)
The Montgomery County Police Crime Laboratory (MCPCL) is the agency that is responsible for analyzing evidential material associated with criminal investigations for the Montgomery County Police Department. As a courtesy, the MCPCL performs analysis for the following other agencies in Montgomery County: Takoma Park Police Department, Gaithersburg City Police Department, Rockville City Police Department, Montgomery County Park Police Department and Metro Transit Police Department. MCPCL is a full forensic DNA casework laboratory and is accredited under the ASCLD/LAB-International program and licensed by the State of Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
The plan being proposed contains multiple goals in an overall effort to increase the capacity of the MCPCL Forensic Biology Unit to possess the ability to process more DNA samples, and thereby help reduce the number of forensic DNA samples awaiting analysis. Overall, the reduction in samples waiting for analysis will decrease the turnaround time for cases received in the Unit. MCPCL Forensic Biology Unit does not intend or plan on generating program income in our proposal.
The goals for MCPCL Forensic Biology Unit are:
- Increase the capacity of the unit to process more DNA samples and thereby help reduce the backlog and turnaround time
- Meet the required annual continuing education requirement for DNA analysts to perform casework analysis
- Provide Y-STR analysis and paternity statistics on applicable cases
In order to reach the goals set forth by the MCPCL Forensic Biology Unit, the following objectives will be employed to reach our target:
- Upgrade the thermal cyclers by purchasing three Proflex 96-well PCR systems along with a temperature verification system
- Create and implement robotic scripts for amplification and typing using the GlobalFiler Express Kit for known blood and buccal samples from individuals for comparison purposes. This will greatly reduce the turnaround time needed for processing known samples.
- Validation of the Yfiler Plus Kit for both manual and robotic procedures to add the capability to perform Y-STR testing in the unit
- Analysts attend training to meet their continuing education requirement and provide the Unit with information obtained at each training
- Outsource applicable cases for Y-STR analysis and paternity statistics until the unit is proficient in this technology