BCI steps up services to local agencies
The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) isworking to better serve local law enforcement by taking steps to reduce laboratory turnaround times, expanding its capacity to test sexual assault kits, and stafng anew ofce in Southeast Ohio.Attorney General DeWine — who has committed tomaking BCI the premier crime lab in the country — redi
rected funding to add staff in key areas and undertakeother advancements.
Reducing turnaround times
Additional staff, a streamlined workow, and thevalidation of new robotics positioned BCI to reduce labturnaround times for DNA testing.DNA and Forensic Biology staffers participated in aweeklong assessment to analyze the bureau’s
testing procedures and identify efciencies. They founddozens of redundancies and extra steps that can beeliminated to reduce future turnaround times.Overall, the Laboratory Division worked 28,389 assign
ments for 790 law enforcement agencies and examinedmore than 105,280 pieces of evidence. Staff membersalso logged more than 1,700 hours giving expert court
room testimony and presented 1,200 hours of internaland external training.Under a new law requiring the collection of DNA from allfelony arrestees, the Combined DNA Index System (CO
DIS) Unit saw intake rise from about 2,700 samples permonth to an average of about 4,600 beginning in July.On the second day the law was in effect, police collectedthe DNA of a man arrested in Madison County on a felo
ny abduction charge. When the prole was entered intoCODIS, it matched previously unidentied DNA from the2001 rape of a 14-year-old girl in Montgomery County,giving police a suspect in a decade-old cold case.
Establishing new presence in Southeast Ohio
In August, BCI opened an ofce in Athens to betterserve Southeast Ohio counties with full-time polygraphand evidence intake services.Within its rst few months, the ofce worked more than300 cases and took in about 900 pieces of evidencefrom 35 submitting agencies.
Expanding sexual assault kit testing
BCI increased its capacity to test sexual assault kits toreduce the number of untested kits in storage at lawenforcement agencies and hospitals across Ohio and toincrease offender DNA samples in the CODIS database.The move followed a recommendation from the AttorneyGeneral’s Sexual Assault Kit Commission, which AttorneyGeneral DeWine formed to research problems associatedwith sexual assault kits and offer solutions.
To test old kits without delaying work on current cases,the Attorney General authorized the addition of fourforensic scientists who will work exclusively on old kits.BCI estimates only about 50 percent of kits are submit
ted for testing for a variety of reasons.In addition, the Ohio Peace Ofcer Training Academy(OPOTA) ramped up sexual assault investigation train
ing for law enforcement to emphasize interaction withvictims, victim advocates, and medical personnel.
Providing investigative support statewide
BCI’s Investigations Division opened 1,370 criminalcases in 2011, conducting investigations for 424 lawenforcement agencies in 86 of Ohio’s 88 counties.The division’s Clandestine Drug Lab/Cannabis Suppres
sion Unit seized nearly 350 methamphetamine labs.Faced early in the year with the loss of federal fund
ing to clean up after the highly hazardous meth labs itbusts, BCI channeled other funds to continue that work.Meanwhile, BCI worked with state and federal partnersto train its own agents and about 120 local law enforce
ment ofcers to neutralize most chemicals used in thetop meth production method.To aid in the cleanup of labs using other productionmethods, BCI laid the groundwork to launch Ohio’s onlymethamphetamine waste pickup program by mid-2012.The Investigations Division’s Criminal Intelligence Unitprocessed 1,603 requests for assistance during theyear, serving a total of 411 agencies in all 88 coun
ties. Many requests supported investigations into serialcrimes, drug trafcking, and theft in ofce.In a new assignment, BCI was selected to provide lawenforcement services at casinos set to open in Toledoand Cleveland in 2012. BCI formed a Casino Gaming Unit to handle the duties.
TO VIEW RESOURCES
To view the Recommended Policy on Submissionof Sexual Assault Kits or see a list of Sexual As
sault Kit Commission members, visit www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov/SexualAssaultKitCommission.