DNA For Law Enforcement : 09 : Evidence Retention
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DNA For Law Enforcement : 09 : Evidence Retention

December 26, 2019

[ Music ]>>Right now DNA is still young, there’s still a lot
of room to grow. There are new technologies and
new advancements that are going to make it even more powerful
so there needs to be steps to protect those key
pieces of evidence. I know you hear about DNA
testing on shell fired or spent shell casings. Right now there’s not a lot of
luck or not a lot of results on fired shell casings of
attaining DNA profiles. However, there are new
technologies that are out there that one day we may
be able to get DNA off of those fired shell casings.>>It’s critical that an agency
has evidence retention policies in place. Technology is advancing. Items of evidence that we
thought twenty years ago we couldn’t use and examine
for potential evidence, we’re getting profiles, we’re getting information
identifying suspects. So it’s critical that these
agencies put into place policies that protect that evidence
for not only current cases, but future cases as well.>>Evidence retention is critical
when you get into this area. The landscape has changed;
technology has moved forward. RLFP has moved to mini-STR
and because of that, your retention policy
has to move with it. In order to utilize
this new technology, you’ve got to have the evidence and your evidence
retention policy has to reflect these changes whether
it’s to look at cold case hits, or whether it’s to
use an exoneration. Without the evidence,
you don’t have anything.>>Evidence retention are
keeping key pieces of evidence that help me solve crimes
I think is critical. I know in our lab we at often
times, even before DNA came on the scene, our serologists
were making cuttings and saving those items. They knew that technology
was advancing. Those items were kept and
preserved and we were able to go back, a lot of them
through NIJ grants, go back and work those old cases
and actually solve crimes where the technology at the
time wasn’t present to do so.

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