Scientists with the Scottsdale Police Department can usually be found helping detectives solve crimes. But now the scientists are the ones getting some much-needed help.
Forensics lab manager Kris Cano says taking on all the cases can take a lot of time.
“By the time we get the evidence to the end of the report takes about three weeks for us to process," Cano said.
The unit's caseload has increased four out of the last five years and the same goes for their case backlog.
It can be a bit much for the four examiners in the DNA unit. Cano says, “Those 200 cases that we didn't have enough examiners or capacity to get to…those are still pending and waiting analysis.”
The unit has just been awarded a $150,000 grant which they will use to help get through the cases.
Cano adds, “Right now we have one piece of software that all four of them are sharing in order to do our statistical analysis so the plan is to purchase one for each of them.”
A new state law puts a priority on sexual assault cases, putting them at the top of the list. The money comes just in time to help investigators keep up.
Cano says, “We'll be able to get to those cases that we normally couldn't get to because we're waiting for software to be available.”