Davisson: Using DNA to keep our state safe

Posted by: Abigail Campbell  | Friday, October 19, 2018

Technology is becoming increasingly more effective in identifying criminals and keeping our community safe. The Indiana State Police is putting a new law to good use. By collecting a DNA profile from anyone arrested for a felony crime, we now have the tools to help identify serial offenders, exonerate the innocent and close unsolved crimes.

According to the Department of Justice, DNA can be used to solve crimes by comparing DNA profiles of suspects or by linking DNA profiles to other crime scenes. Additionally, DNA can be used to prove the innocence of those wrongly convicted of a crime.

The new law, which I supported, allows law enforcement to take a cheek swab after a person has been arrested for a felony. That cheek swab generates a DNA profile of the individual. The profile is then put into the Combined DNA Index System or CODIS for comparison to other profiles nationwide. If a DNA profile matches any profile in the system, it will produce what law enforcement call a ‘hit.’

CODIS is a powerful, nation-wide computer network that allows law enforcement to work collaboratively and compare DNA profiles in an effort to fight crime. Since Indiana began using this policy in January, nearly 7,000 investigations have been given new information nationwide with the help of the CODIS program. If a person is arrested of a felony and then acquitted of their crime, the felony charges are dropped, or felony charges are not filed within 365 days of a person’s arrest then their DNA profile will be removed from CODIS.

To learn more about how CODIS is helping fight crimes across the state and nationwide, visit in.gov/isp/labs and lick on the “Biology and Combined DNA Index System” tab on the left.

If you have any questions or input, contact me at 312-232-9769 or h73@iga.in.gov.

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State Rep. Steve Davisson (R-Salem) represents House District 73,

Washington County, and portions of Orange, Lawrence, Jackson, Clark and Harrison counties. 

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