Today, Thursday, Sept. 6, Rep. Adam Schiff announced that the Verdugo Regional Crime Laboratory (VRCL) in Glendale has been awarded $150,000 through the FY18 DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction (CEBR) program administered by the Dept. of Justice (DOJ). This funding will help the lab increase capacity and more quickly process DNA evidence, including sexual assault kits. The DNA Lab serves Glendale, Pasadena, Burbank and the surrounding communities.
“The Verdugo Regional Crime Laboratory is accomplishing exactly what we hoped when it was created by improving public safety in Glendale, Pasadena, Burbank, and the surrounding communities and investigating a range of crimes including the most serious violent offenses,” Rep. Schiff said. “This grant will allow the lab to increase its capacity to process DNA samples from crime scenes, and also ensure that DNA evidence from rape kits does not go untested.”
According to the Department of Justice, in order to address increased demand for DNA testing and the existing DNA backlog, the VRCL Forensic Biology Unit increased its staffing to include two trained DNA analysts in 2016. This new grant will be used to add part time laboratory support personnel to aid in sample processing. The VRCL Forensic Biology Unit will be able to increase sample capacity and reduce the number of backlogged cases by addressing bottle necks in evidence processing.
In 2009, Schiff helped secure $1.5 million to build the Lab as part of the appropriations process. In 2010, Schiff secured an additional $1 million to expand and fully fund the Lab. Since securing the initial funding to help build and expand the lab, Schiff has consistently supported additional funding and grants for the program through the appropriations and grants process.