Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2017, $373,692)
The City of Albuquerque operates both the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) forensic DNA laboratory and the New Mexico DNA Identification System (NMDIS) legislatively designated SDIS laboratory for the State of New Mexico. Although independent in funding streams and personnel, these laboratories as are jointly administered by the City of Albuquerque through the Albuquerque Police Department.
The APD and NMDIS funding sources are designed to address normal operational expenses of both laboratories. However, due to limitations in municipal and state funding for the testing of backlogged cases, combined with increases in supply and outsourcing costs associated with new testing kit requirements, it is not possible to address all DNA casework production and casework/offender/arrestee outsourcing needs. To this end, the APD forensic DNA and NMDIS laboratories are requesting funding to address the following budget items; supplemental DNA testing supplies; contracted QC/reagent prep support personnel; the outsourcing of backlogged cases and offender/arrestee database samples; travel and registration associated with federally mandated training; travel related to on-site vendor visits and expenses associated with on-site quality assurance audits.
Significant increases in the demand for analysis of new and backlogged cases (predominantly sexual assault kits), insufficient staffing, inconsistent funding streams and federal requirements to use substantially more expensive multiplex kits requiring upgraded and/or new equipment, validations and training place additional financial burdens on an already stressed system.The goal of this project is to utilize authorized grant funds to address gaps in state and municipal funding, related to both, the APDs and the NMDISs respective (as appropriate) supply, personnel, outsourcing, required training, vendor site visits and quality assurance audit needs.
The objectives of this project are that through cost effective contracting and procurement the laboratories will secure:
1.) Required travel, training, quality assurance audits, vendor site visits, supplies, and contract personnel services necessary to comply with: a.) federal rules; and b.) our attempts to ensure the highest level of quality in all analyses performed; and
2.) Provide for DNA testing outsourcing contracts to address backlogged casework and prevent the backlogging of offender/arrestee samples.
The intent of each of these objectives is to assure that both the APDs and NMDISs labs are able to increase their respective capacities for analysis, reduce any applicable backlogs, and reduce their reporting and match confirmation turnaround times.