The most important thing FDLE did to achieve that was involve the local agencies as well as the state attorney's office and the Florida Forensic Advisory Committee in finding solutions, says Tucker.
"We did not just sit up here and say we're going to do things the way we want to," he says.
Key among the 10 points are outsourcing pending biology cases (but not juvenile sexual assaults or rush cases). FDLE tapped $1.1 million in federal grants for outsourcing, and then obtained $2 million from its state legislature.
Another key point, in addition to outsourcing and prescreening by local agencies (mentioned in "Reducing the DNA backlog"), is expediting final implementation of automated forensic processing.
FDLE 10-point forensic science plan (abridged version)
- Implement Case Acceptance Guidelines to manage incoming cases.
- Train local law enforcement agencies to perform prescreening of potential DNA evidence.
- Train local law enforcement agency personnel as scientists to work in FDLE laboratories. (This is not being done yet.)
- Contract for training of new and replacement FDLE scientists.
- Outsource portion of pending biology cases.
- Add trained FDLE scientists to increase crime laboratory capacity.
- Expand the role of forensic technologists.
- Expedite final implementation of automated forensic processing.
- Utilize overtime in biology, chemistry, firearms and latent print disciplines.
- Workload and staffing management.