Rep. Yoder Cosponsors Bill to Help Law Enforcement Expedite DNA Analysis
WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, Representative Kevin Yoder (R-KS) cosponsored H.R. 510 the Rapid DNA Act of 2017, which allows for law enforcement officials to use Rapid DNA instruments to help reduce DNA backlogs and advance investigations.
The Rapid DNA Act will permit law enforcement officials to compare DNA samples they collect during their arrest to the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System (CODIS). As a result, DNA samples can be analyzed in approximately 90 minutes or less, compared to weeks or months without the FBI’s database. This legislation will help solve crimes quicker and expedite exonerating innocent victims.
“The law enforcement officials that keep us safe should have the best tools available to them,” Representative Yoder said. “In my discussions with local law enforcement, I’ve learned that without the Rapid DNA Act, we are at risk of leaving crimes unsolved and the public unprotected. I hope that this bill passes the House and makes our communities safer.”
The following are statements from local law enforcement supportive of the bill:
Steven Menke, Olathe Chief of Police:
“I am in complete support of this bill. The amount of time it currently takes for local law enforcement to get a DNA sample tested and compared in CODIS is months unless there are some exigent circumstances like an active homicide investigation. And even then, it is a couple of days to get results. This would be a significant advantage to solving crime in days, not months, and to preventing the other crimes that are going to occur.”
Frank Donchez, Overland Park Chief of Police:
“DNA evidence has already changed the game in law enforcement and has led to the arrest and conviction of thousands of individuals who would have previously gone free. This legislation is the next logical step in developing DNA evidence on a timely basis and enabling local law enforcement to react swiftly in taking dangerous criminals off the street.”
Representative James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) introduced the bill in January and it has been referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary.