Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2017, $600,000)
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) Forensic Laboratory, Biology/DNA Detail is faced with budgetary constraints and case backlogs. The federal funding from the DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction (CEBR) Program award will be used for the following goals:
1. Reduce the backlog of Biology/DNA cases and decrease case turnaround time through hiring two full-time forensic laboratory technologists to help process, record and screen cases prior to DNA analysis, outsourcing cases and using overtime funds for Forensic Scientists to process DNA cases in-house.
2. Increase the capacity of the LVMPD Biology/DNA Detail through the validation of a male screen during quantification using overtime funds.
3. Ensure accurate laboratory capabilities of the Biology/DNA Detail through semi-annual pipette calibration.
4. Fulfill the FBI's Quality Assurance Standards DNA continuing education requirements by sending DNA staff to conferences.
5. Select a vendor to train two forensic laboratory technologists in-house and online.
The LVMPD Biology/DNA Detail expects to process at least 86 cases in-house with federally-funded overtime. 82 cases currently contained in the Biology/DNA backlog are targeted to be completed through federally-funded outsourcing of casework to a private DNA vendor laboratory which was chosen through a competitive bid process. An additional 200 cases currently contained in the Biology/DNA backlog are targeted to be processed and screened by two full-time forensic laboratory technologists that will be hired using grant funding. These cases will then be assigned to a forensic scientist for DNA analysis. Increasing the capacity by validating a male DNA screen during quantification will provide the opportunity to assist in efficient screening of cases. Processing cases in-house utilizing overtime combined with hiring forensic laboratory technologists for processing and screening DNA cases will reduce the overall backlog of DNA cases at the LVMPD, with the goal of reducing case turnaround time by 30 days. An additional goal is to increase the capacity of the Biology/DNA Detail by an average of five samples per forensic scientist per month.