Editor’s Note: The following release was submitted by the office U.S. Rep. Nita Lowey, D-Harrison.
WHITE PLAINS, NY—From U.S. Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-Westchester/Rockland), the senior Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, today announced a $341,819 United States Department of Justice grant for Westchester County’s Forensic Science Services.
The goal of the grant, which is being provided through the Department of Justice’s DNA Backlog Reduction Program, is to help states and local governments increase the capacity of existing crime laboratories so they can analyze DNA samples more efficiently and cost effectively, as well as reduce backlogs of DNA evidence.
Backlogs consists of two kinds of DNA samples: forensic evidence collected from crime scenes, victims, and suspects in criminal cases that often contains DNA, and DNA samples taken from convicted defenders and suspects under arrest in accordance with federal and state laws.
The National Institute of Justice defines a backlogged DNA case as one that goes untested for 30 days or more once it has been submitted to a crime laboratory.
“DNA technology is an invaluable tool in fighting and solving crime. But as awareness of the potential of DNA samples in criminal investigations has grown, demand for analyzing DNA samples has outgrown the capacity of many crime laboratories around the country,” said Congresswoman Lowey. “This federal investment will enable our law enforcement officials in Westchester County to take full advantage of DNA technology so they can more effectively fight and solve crime.”