Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $180,218 for the Onondaga County Health Department to support efforts to reduce the DNA backlog. The competitive federal grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Justice to help local government reduce forensic DNA sample turnaround time, increase the throughput of public DNA laboratories, and reduce DNA forensic casework backlogs.
“Utilizing DNA technology to put and keep criminals behind bars is a no-brainer,” Schumer said. “Breaking the logjam of our DNA system will help law enforcement keep the streets of Syracuse safe, and potentially prevent heinous acts of crime. This funding will go a long way towards helping local law enforcement do their job.”
“This is a great investment for Central New York’s law enforcement,” Senator Gillibrand said. “When we reduce the DNA backlog, we can hold more dangerous criminals accountable, keep predators off our streets and locked up, and keep our families safe. I will keep working to secure all the tools and resources our local law enforcement need.”
“The laboratory is grateful to have received this grant as it will enable us to increase our DNA analysis capacity thereby improving forensic services to the criminal justice community,” said Dr. Kathleen Corrado, Director of Laboratories, Onondaga County Center for Forensic Sciences.
Reducing DNA backlogs is critical to helping the criminal justice system use the full potential of DNA technology. Eligible states and units of local government may request funds to increase the capacity of their existing crime laboratories that conduct DNA analysis to analyze DNA samples more efficiently and cost effectively. Eligible applicants also may request funds to handle, screen, and analyze backlogged forensic DNA casework samples.
State-designated DNA Database laboratories may also use supplemental funding available under this solicitation to build the capacity of their laboratory to process more database samples or to reduce the number of backlogged database samples.