WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Congressmen Steny H. Hoyer, Dutch Ruppersberger, John Sarbanes, Kweisi Mfume, Anthony Brown, Jamie Raskin and David Trone (all D-Md.) today announced $2,085,897 in federal funding to help relieve police department backlogs of forensic biology and DNA cases.
“Every year, thousands of violent and non-violent crimes – including murders, rapes and assaults – go unsolved because of the backlog in processing DNA for investigations,” the lawmakers said. “This federal funding will keep communities across Maryland safe by providing local jurisdictions with the necessary resources to process vital DNA evidence and analyze forensic data more quickly and accurately.”
The funding comes from the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) at the Department of Justice through the BJA DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction (CEBR) program and is directed to the following police programs:
- $431,315 to the Maryland State Police Forensic Sciences Division in Pikesville
- $260,000 to the Prince George’s County Police Department, Forensic Science Division
- $260,000 to the Forensic Biology Unit of the Anne Arundel County Police Department
- $401,985 to the Baltimore Police Department Crime Laboratory
- $222,597 to the Baltimore County Police Department Crime Laboratory
- $250,000 to the State of Maryland Office of the Chief Medical Examiner’s toxicology laboratory in Crownsville
- $260,000 to the Montgomery County Police Crime Laboratory
These CEBR grants are awarded by the BJA. The goal of these grants is to provide publicly funded DNA and DNA database laboratories with capacity building resources to process more DNA samples. Since 2011, the CEBR program has distributed over 1,200 awards and grants.