A DNA double helix is seen in an undated artist’s illustration released by the National Human Genome Research Institute to Reuters on May 15, 2012. REUTERS/National Human Genome Research Institute.

More than $1.2 million in Department of Justice grants were announced Wednesday to bolster forensics resources for San Diego-area law enforcement agencies.

The city of San Diego, county of San Diego and San Diego County District Attorney’s Office received a total of $1,222,116, part of $192 million in grants announced nationwide by the DOJ’s Office of Justice Programs to advance forensic science.

“Developments in forensic science have given investigators an extraordinary array of tools that can be enlisted to solve crimes and bring answers to victims and survivors, often after many years and even decades,” said OJP Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Katharine T. Sullivan. “These investments in crime-fighting technology, from DNA analysis to drug toxicology to forensic anthropology, will help identify and convict perpetrators, ensure justice for innocent victims and keep communities safe by deterring future criminal activity.”

Local grants include:

  •  $376,004 to the city of San Diego and $376,112 to San Diego County funded by DOJ’s DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction Program. The funds will be used to increase capacity for DNA analysis and the number of DNA samples, with the goal of decreasing the backlog and turnaround time for DNA analysis. Recipients may use funding to upgrade laboratories and purchase equipment and supplies, such as DNA sample collection kits; and
  • $470,000 to the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office for the prosecution of cold cases where DNA from a suspect has been identified.

“DOJ’s significant investment in new technologies is an important piece of the puzzle posed by cold cases,” said U.S. Attorney Robert Brewer. “We must leave no stone unturned in our effort to increase public safety and deliver accountability and closure to victims.”

— City News Service

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