Department of Justice Awards $480,000 to Spokane County Sheriff’s Office for Rapid DNA Testing
Vanessa R. Waldref, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, today announced $480,000 Department of Justice grant to the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office Rapid DNA program.
The grant will help law enforcement in Spokane County identify, arrest, and prosecute both violent crimes and prolific property crimes, with the goal of enhancing the Sheriff’s Office’s technical expertise, increasing the number of solved crimes in Spokane County, and reducing the number of crimes against persons and property.
The grant, which is administered by the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs, was awarded on July 26, 2022. The funding will be used by the Forensic Unit of the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office, which is an accredited lab covering various areas. The Rapid DNA program should accelerate the speed by which investigative leads can be developed, perpetrators identified, and innocent parties cleared. As a result, offenders will be more quickly apprehended.
In announcing the nearly $500,000 award, U.S. Attorney Waldref stated, “This grant is an example of the Justice Department’s commitment to devoting resources to our local law enforcement partners to ensure Eastern Washington remains Safe and Strong.” U.S. Attorney Waldref continued, “DNA testing is a critical tool for solving and prosecuting crime.
In fact, DNA analysis has proven to be the difference in identifying, and in some cases exonerating, the accused. By devoting these additional resources in Spokane County, we are able to help law enforcement hold perpetrators accountable and deter others from committing criminal acts in Eastern Washington.”