United States Attorney Jeff Jensen and Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Katharine T. Sullivan announced substantial grants to fund crime laboratories, decrease DNA backlogs, support basic and applied forensic research, and help law enforcement identify missing persons in the Eastern District of Missouri. The funding is administered by the Bureau of Justice Assistance and the National Institute of Justice, both part of the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs.
Through the BJA DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction Program, the following funds are being provided to process, record, screen and analyze DNA evidence and to enhance the ability of crime labs to process evidence. The funding helps reduce the number of forensic DNA database samples awaiting analysis, prevents additional DNA backlogs and helps solve crimes.
St. Charles County $75,000
St. Louis County $174,698
St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department $280,057
Missouri State Highway Patrol $483,798
Complementing these efforts, BJA’s Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grants Program is making the following awards. The awards help states and local governments improve the quality and timeliness of forensic services provided by crime laboratories and medical examiner and coroners’ offices. Funding will go toward eliminating backlogs and employing and training laboratory personnel and death investigators.
Missouri Department of Public Safety $331,027
St. Louis County $244,275
In addition, BJA is making the following substantial award through the National Sexual Assault Kit Initiative. The funding supports the documentation of unanalyzed sexual assault kits, and the efficient processing, investigation and prosecution of sexual assault kits as well as victim advocacy to support effective resolution of sexual assault cases ‒ steps that are effective in reducing violent crime.
Missouri Attorney General’s Office $2,000,000
United States Attorney Jeff Jensen stated, “These grants further strengthen the ability of our state and local partners to use powerful forensic tools in a timely manner. This increased forensic capacity will further the pursuit of justice in relation to violent crime and sexual assaults within the Eastern District of Missouri.”