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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Washington

Thursday, October 26, 2017

DOJ Awards more than $3.7 Million to Washington State Entities to Advance Forensic Science and Crime Fighting Database

UW and WSP Awarded Three Grants Related to DNA

          The U.S. Department of Justice has awarded four grants totaling more than $3.7 million to Washington State entities to enhance forensic science and criminal records systems, announced U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes.  The grant awards advance scientific research and improve criminal justice record keeping.


            “In a very competitive environment, local researchers and law enforcement submitted grant proposals that earned substantial backing from the Justice Department,” said U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes.  “These federal funds will improve the ways we use DNA, and will enhance critical records used to bring criminals to justice.”


            University of Washington researchers were awarded two grants.  The largest grant, for $902,440 will continue work focused on producing statistical procedures for providing the quantitative strength of DNA evidence.  The researchers are working with population genetic theory to calculate match probability and genetic markers.  The second grant, $509,728 advances work on damaged or mixed DNA samples.  This second grant involves work with the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab.


            The Washington State Patrol (WSP) also received more than $2 million in grants.  The largest, $1,559,282, will allow for the testing of previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits.  State law enforcement currently has a backlog of more than 6,000 previously unsubmitted test kits.  The second grant to the Washington State Patrol funds improvements to record keeping in the National Criminal History database.  WSP will use the $741,964 in federal funds to improve the state records submitted to the national database in a number of ways: researching missing records; finding incomplete records; improving the way records are input into the national system; and deploying technology to various jurisdictions to improve the entering of records.


            Some of these grants continue work undertaken by researchers and law enforcement in prior funding periods.


            Specific information about the work being funded can be obtained from Susan Gregg at the University of Washington and from Bob Maki at WSP 360-593-4045.

Press contact for the U.S. Attorney’s Office is Public Affairs Officer Emily Langlie at (206) 553-4110 or
Updated October 26, 2017