Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2018, $928,177)
The Los Angeles Police Departments (LAPD) Forensic Science Division (FSD) is a full-service crime laboratory.
The FSD is accredited by the American National Standards Institute -American Society for Quality (ANSI-ASQ) National Accreditation Board (ANAB) to the International Organization of Standardization- International Electrotechnical Commissions ISO/IEC 17025 standard. FSDs Serology/DNA Unit (SDU) is accredited to perform body fluid identification and Nuclear DNA testing, and currently has a staff of 69 personnel.
Due to the rise in Part I and Property Crimes between 2015 and 2017, there has been an increased demand for Forensic DNA Analysis. However, the SDU has been facing budget challenges while seeking to expand its DNA analysis capabilities. It is in critical need of instrumentation upgrades, overtime funds, and training for its staff.
The objectives of this project are to reduce or prevent an increase in the number of forensic DNA backlogged cases, and to shorten the turnaround time for analysis of forensic DNA cases by implementing new instrumentational efficiencies and increasing personnel hours for forensic DNA analysis.
The LAPD SDU plans to use program funds to analyze at least 491 DNA cases in-house. It expects to increase analyst productivity by an average of 5 percent, and reduce forensic backlogged DNA casework by 5 percent. As defined by NIJ, a backlogged case is a forensic biology/DNA case that has not been completed within 30 days of receipt in the laboratory.