Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2017, $238,972)
The DuPage County Forensic Science Center (DCFSC) is a full-service forensic science laboratory that analyzes evidence items from over 40 law enforcement agencies within DuPage County, Illinois. The DNA Section is a NDIS-participating laboratory and offers DNA analysis utilizing STRs and Y-STRs.
Funds awarded under this program will be used to fund overtime and support staff, provide equipment and supplies needed for additional casework, and fund continuing education. In addition, funds are requested to conduct an external audit of the DNA section.
These objectives will enable the laboratory to increase capacity, decrease turnaround times and maintain a low backlog. Overtime will be used specifically during periods of increased submissions or decreased staffing, when it is necessary to prevent a backlog. A quality control contractor will impact capacity and turnaround time by allowing the analysts to focus on cases. The capacity of the laboratory will be increased by purchasing supplies that otherwise might not be possible to purchase, decreasing bottlenecks that occur while waiting for county funds for supplies to become available. Capacity will also be positively impacted by the purchase of an additional DNA extraction robot. The purchase of an additional microplate centrifuge will improve laboratory processes. Continuing education will improve the analysts' scientific expertise and enable the laboratory to comply with QAS requirements. The external audit is mandatory, but will ensure that the laboratory is providing quality results that are eligible for upload to NDIS.
Together, these objectives will allow the laboratory to work toward the goal of increasing quality and capacity and reducing the forensic casework turn-around time so that the backlog can, in turn, be reduced or eliminated.
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