By Mary O’KEEFE
The Community Foundation of the Verdugos is expanding its outreach to a broader community by joining with Glendale and Burbank police departments as part of the “Glendale-Burbank DNA Justice Project.”
The CFV board wanted the foundation to do more impactful projects in the community, said Edna Karinski, chief executive officer of CFV.
For years CFV has assisted nonprofit organizations in the community with grants and helped thousands of students through managing scholarships. Its support of the community is well known and the board now wants to share expand that support through larger projects.
The board decided on supporting the police departments’ DNA lab project after conducting surveys and researching issues for a year. The lab is in Glendale and was opened in the spring of 2012.
“We found the lab wasn’t quite at the point of being self sustaining,” Karinski said.
The DNA lab is actually named the Verdugo Regional Crime Laboratory and is a collaboration of the Glendale, Burbank and Pasadena police departments. The GPD began working with Congressman Adam Schiff who was able to secure $1.5 million in federal funding. The lab not only helps the local police departments but also the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the National Integrated Ballistics Information Network.
But because the regional DNA analysis labs are overwhelmed, Burbank and Glendale police departments wanted to find a way for processing DNA evidence more quickly.
The CFV goal is to raise $250,000 by March 2015.
“This is the first time we have taken on an initiative and it won’t be the last time,” Karinski said.
For more information on the project or to donate, visit cfverdugos.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call