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Lowey Announces Grant For County DNA Services, Aiding In Sex Assault Cases

Congresswoman Nita Lowey announced announced a $312,865 Department of Justice grant for Westchester County’s Forensic Science Services.
Congresswoman Nita Lowey announced announced a $312,865 Department of Justice grant for Westchester County’s Forensic Science Services. Photo Credit: File

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-Westchester/Rockland) announced a $312,865 Department of Justice grant for Westchester County’s Forensic Science Services on Monday.

The goal of the grant, provided through the DOJ’s DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction Program, is helping states and local governments increase existing crime laboratories' capacity so they can analyze DNA samples more efficiently and cost effectively, reducing DNA evidence backlogs.

“Surviving a sexual assault can be the most traumatic experience in a person’s life,” Lowey said in a statement. “Law enforcement agencies and government at all levels owe it to victims to provide the support they need and to investigate and prosecute these crimes aggressively. This grant will help Westchester’s Forensic Science Services handle, screen, and analyze backlogged forensic DNA casework samples. As ranking member on the Appropriations Committee, I fought hard to provide the resources necessary to reduce the national DNA casework backlog, and I’m glad funding was made available for Westchester County.”

The National Institute of Justice defines a backlogged DNA case as one that goes untested for 30 days or more once it has been submitted to a crime laboratory.

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