DNA databases are being collected across dozens of police departments in the U.S., a strategy some consider to be against state and national regulations restricting who can provide genetic samples and how long that information is held.
Some of the rules local agencies employ for the gathering of their databases include allowing samples to be taken from children or people who were never arrested of a crime. Having DNA collections of their own helps agencies bypass the backlogs dominating state and federal repositories, police chiefs say.
Public Safety Director Frederick Harran of Bensalem Township in Pennsylvania said the local databases helped lower the number of robberies and burglaries in his town because of the arrests DNA collections have allowed.
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Harran said the local database authorities go through a private lab and get results within a month, while the Pennsylvania state lab can take up to 18 months to analyze the DNA taken from the scene of the crime. He said the private lab work is funded by the assets of criminals.