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Implementation of a DNA Triage and Analysis System Dedicated to Increasing the Throughput of High Volume Crimes in a Forensic Laboratory

NCJ Number
Date Published
August 2012
133 pages
In an effort to improve the efficiency and capacity of the Orange County Crime Lab (OCCL) in screening and processing property-crime DNA evidence, a two-fold approach was adopted.
The Property Crime DNA Program featured the use of a sophisticated DNA case submission and triage system and the adoption of a team approach to process biological evidence from property crimes using a newly created high-volume crime DNA platform. The Property Crime Triage System, which included the use of a new case submission process was cooperatively developed and implemented by the OCCL and the Orange County District Attorney's Office (OCDA). Representatives from both entities evaluated DNA analysis requests submitted to the lab from county police agencies. Forensic DNA analysts examined property-crime DNA analysis requests from a scientific basis, and prosecutors evaluated the same requests from a legal perspective. DNA analysts were assigned to a team that was devoted exclusively to processing property-crime DNA samples using a customized scheduling system and an automated DNA processing platform. Team members cooperated in screening, analyzing, and expeditiously delivering property-crime-scene DNA sample results each week. The Property Crime High Volume DNA Platform teams used both existing equipment and new equipment purchased using 2009 DNA Unit Efficiency Improvement Grant funds. Since DNA analysis was expected to take no longer than 15 workdays, it was hoped that law enforcement would have results for property crime cases within 25 workdays from the time the request for DNA analysis was submitted. This goal was not achieved within the project's time constraints. Instead, the average turn-around-time for providing DNA results to police investigators was 74 workdays. 3 tables, 4 figures, and attachments for an evaluation of the DNA analysis requirements of the County's Law Enforcement Agencies, the Web site for the Orange County Sheriff-Coroner Orange County Crime Laboratory Work Request and Case Status, and a property crime work flow chart

Date Published: August 1, 2012