DNA Lab Gets Generous Boost From the Cusumano Family Foundation

Mar 06, 2015, 18:18 ET from Community Foundation of the Verdugos

GLENDALE, Calif., March 6, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Glendale-Burbank DNA Justice Project, a $250,000 initiative by the Community Foundation of the Verdugos (CFV), is now more than half-way to its goal thanks to a generous contribution of $50,000 from the Cusumano Family Foundation. 

The announcement was made at a gathering of invited guests who were also able to tour the lab, which showcased advanced crime-fighting technology utilized by the Glendale and Burbank police departments. Glendale Police Chief Robert Castro and Burbank Police Chief Scott LaChasse offered compelling information as to the vital work that cutting-edge DNA technology now serves in the law enforcement field.  Michael Cusumano, a member of the CFV's Board of Directors and representing the Cusumano Family, said that the importance of this lab to the Burbank, Glendale and greater Verdugo region could not be understated and that it did not take much discussion among family members to decide on supporting the campaign.  "When we came to the table over this need, it did not take us long to all agree that this was something that we had to support," said Cusumano.

The lab was secured through funding made possible by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) in 2014 and has since processed well over 400 DNA samples as part of desperately needed evidence supporting the work of law enforcement. Additional funding provided through this Campaign will ensure that the Lab is able to secure more advanced technology to help analysts identify multiple sources of DNA within the same sample.  This will also enable the Lab to become self-sufficient as it outsources work to other police departments. 

The $50,000 Community Cornerstone contribution by the Cusumano Family Foundation joins $50,000 already committed by the CFV itself.  In all, well over half of the funds needed have now been secured.  Lee Wochner, CFV Board VP, explained that the campaign will continue full speed through March.  "Donors from Burbank, Glendale and the Foothill communities have turned out in support of this initiative," he said. "Many of our area's social clubs are offering support and we have had gifts of all sizes coming from donors excited to be part of this important project."  Wochner was referring to comments made by Police Chief LaChasse in reference to other police departments that are looking at this initiative as a national model involving cooperation from cities and the community at large so that all may benefit. The Verdugo Regional Crime Lab's DNA technology has already provided sound statistics in showing that crime, and the cost of crime, can be reduced through the efficient and fast identification of suspects while exonerating the innocent and making a safer community for all.

For more information about the Community Foundation of the Verdugos and how you can support the Glendale-Burbank DNA Justice Project, please visit cfverdugos.org (http://cfverdugos.org) or call (818) 241-8040 or email info@cfverdugos.org.

CONTACT: Edna Karinski
(818) 241-8040



SOURCE Community Foundation of the Verdugos