TOPEKA -- Attorney General Steve Six said today that longstanding backlog of DNA testing should be eliminated by February 2011.
Six said this morning at KBI Headquarters in Topeka that eliminating the backlog will allow forensic scientists at the Kansas Bureau of Investigation to address new DNA samples as they are submitted. Delays in processing evidence hinder police investigations and can prevent authorities from prosecuting crimes.
In September 2009, there were more than 38,000 DNA samples awaiting processing. The KBI has been able to reduce that backlog by 70 percent to 11,318 samples, Six said. The KBI operates labs in Kansas City, Topeka and Great Bend. New funding was approved by the Legislature in the 2010 session to address the backlog.
In 2009, the KBI received DNA testing requests on 1,797 cases, including homicides, sexual assaults, arson, drug crimes, thefts and driving under the influence. Among those cases, there were 39,280 items of evidence submitted for genetic analysis.