ARIZONA NEWS

With federal grant money, Scottsdale Police Department can examine DNA evidence backlog

Oct 17, 2023, 4:35 AM

(Getty Images Photo/Scott Gries)...

(Getty Images Photo/Scott Gries)

(Getty Images Photo/Scott Gries)

PHOENIX — The Scottsdale Police Department will have some extra cash to tackle their DNA evidence backlog, thanks to a $250,000 federal grant.

The money, coming from the U.S. Department of Justice, is an ongoing grant the department’s forensics lab has had in the past. The Scottsdale City Council officially consented to it last week.

Officer Aaron Bolin with Scottsdale Police said the funding will go towards an issue they’ve been struggling with.

“There are staffing shortages everywhere, and in forensic science, there’s apparently no exception to that,” he said. “Having not had all the forensic examiners in place that we’ve needed to has contributed to a little bit of a backlog.”

Backlogged cases are those that haven’t been looked at for 30 days or more.

“When the triaging happens where a new case comes in that our investigators are actively working, sometimes their other cases where we have a known suspect and we’re basically putting evidence together for court get pushed back,” he added.

How many backlogged DNA cases does Scottsdale have?

According to Bolin, that backlog includes more than 70 items for persons crime, nearly 40 items from property crimes, and nearly 130 sexual assault kits. He added many of these items are currently in progress.

However, the grant money will make it easier for the department to get through these cases.

“We’ll be able to actually hire another forensic scientist that will serve as an analyst,” Bolin explained. “It’s also going to help a grant position, forensic scientist and analyst, that was hired a year ago to help get through these cases.”

The money will help the department in other ways as well.

“[We’ll be able to] continue to pay for the annual maintenance for the equipment and software,” Bolin said, “as well as purchase new equipment and supplies that are required for the continuing education of the forensic scientists in the DNA unit.”

Bolin added that being able to stay on top of DNA evidence is essential to the department’s mission.

“We are working through this backlog,” he stressed. “The grant… will greatly help our efforts to make sure we can put good cases to court and ensure justice for our victims.”

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

The Maricopa County Attorney's Office is seeking to revoke the probation of 20-year-old Jacob Penni...

Danny Shapiro

MCAO seeks to revoke probation for East Valley youth violence suspect arrested on alcohol charges

Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell said Thursday her office has filed a petition to revoke probation for an East Valley youth violence suspect who was arrested on an alcohol charge the same day of his sentencing.

9 minutes ago

It was a hazy Thursday in Phoenix. (ADOT traffic camera photo)...

KTAR.com

Notice the hazy day in Phoenix? Here’s why it happened

It was a hazy Thursday in the Phoenix area and forecasters said there was a good reason for the abnormal conditions.

2 hours ago

Attorney General Kris Mayes sued Arizona on June 20, 2024, in an attempt to block the state from us...

KTAR.com

AG Kris Mayes sues Arizona over plan to use $115 million in opioid settlement funds for budget deficit

Attorney General Kris Mayes sued Arizona on Thursday in an attempt to block the state from using $115 million in opioid settlement funds to remedy budget deficits.

3 hours ago

The shooting death of a 39-year-old man on Interstate 10 in Phoenix on June 10, 2024 has been ruled...

KTAR.com

Shooting death of 39-year-old man on Interstate 10 in Phoenix ruled a homicide

The shooting death of a 39-year-old man on Interstate 10 in Phoenix earlier this month has been ruled a homicide, authorities said Thursday.

4 hours ago

electric vehicle charging plan...

Serena O'Sullivan

ADOT to host virtual meeting on EV charging station plan

The Arizona Department of Transportation on Wednesday invited the public to share their input on an electric vehicle charging plan.

6 hours ago

Split panel of a man and two children responding to fireworks on the left, and a fireworks display ...

Kevin Stone

Ooh, ahh: Phoenix launches fireworks show season this weekend with After Dark in the Park

The 2024 Phoenix fireworks show season launches this weekend with After Dark in the Park, the first of three city celebrations.

7 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s how to be worry-free when your A/C goes out in the middle of summer

PHOENIX -- As Arizona approaches another hot summer, Phoenix residents are likely to spend more time indoors.

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

With federal grant money, Scottsdale Police Department can examine DNA evidence backlog