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Department of Justice Grants Provided to Nassau County & Suffolk County; DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction Program Aims to Increase Timeliness & Turnaround of Forensic Analysis

U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $362,105 in federal Department of Justice (DOJ) funding for DNA backlog reduction programs on Long Island. The funding has been allocated through the DOJ’s National Institute of Justice.  Specifically, Nassau County will receive $193,397 in federal funding to help reduce the overall turnaround time for the handling, screening, and analysis of forensic DNA samples. In addition, Suffolk County will receive $168,708 in federal funding to help increase the throughput and timelines of forensic analysis of evidence.

“This federal funding will help Nassau County and Suffolk County identify perpetrators and achieve justice for victims,” said Senator Schumer. “I will continue doing everything I can to ensure our localities have the resources they need to reduce the DNA backlog in New York.”

“These federal funds will allow Nassau and Suffolk County to invest in the resources necessary to help prevent the backlog of DNA cases on Long Island,” said Senator Gillibrand. “By investing in backlog reduction programs we can hold more dangerous criminals accountable, and keep our families safe.”

The Nassau County Medical Examiner’s Office, Division of Forensic Services Biology Section, is the agency responsible for analyzing biological evidence associated with criminal investigations for all local law enforcement agencies in Nassau County. This federal funding will help reduce the overall turnaround time for the handling, screening and analysis of forensic DNA samples and will help improve laboratory throughput in an effort to prevent forensic DNA casework backlogs within Nassau County.

Similarly, in Suffolk County the funds will be used to help increase the throughput and timeliness of forensic analysis of evidence submitted to the Suffolk County Crime Laboratory Biological Sciences Section. Capacity and efficiency will be maintained through the purchase of a freezer to retain evidence DNA samples. Also, funds will be used for the hiring of two contract employees.