WHITE PLAINS, NY -- Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY17/Rockland-Westchester), Chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, today announced Westchester County has been awarded $303,493 from the Department of Justice (DOJ) FY 20 DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction (CEBR) Program. This federal grant will enable county law enforcement labs to efficiently process DNA samples found at crime scenes and work to reduce the backlog of DNA that is waiting analysis.
"DNA analysis is one of the most powerful tools we have for identifying perpetrators at the crime scene," said Congresswoman Lowey. "Ensuring that our labs are adequately funded goes a long way in ensuring that all leads are followed up on and law enforcement is able to quickly and correctly identify offenders."
The new funding will enable Westchester County DNA analysis labs to conduct more tests on more samples in a faster period.
"I would like to thank Congresswoman Nita Lowey for her strong leadership on this issue," said Westchester County Executive George Latimer. "Our criminal justice system has come to rely heavily on DNA analysis as a critical tool for generating new leads, closing cases and correcting errors at crime scenes. The number of DNA samples being sent to Westchester County's Department of Labs & Research continues to grow each year, and the $300,000 grant from the Department of Justice will go a long way toward improving the speed and efficiency of our labs, while reducing our backlog of unprocessed samples."
Congresswoman Lowey has long supported initiatives that improve law enforcement's relationships with their communities while also ensuring they have the necessary tools for their job. In July, as Chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, Congresswoman Lowey led the House in the passage of a fiscal year 2021 spending package that includes $142 million for DNA Initiative Grants.