FREE e-Newsletter
Important News - Hot Topics
Get them Now!

Dynamic Plaques - FVT Plaques
FVT Plaques is introducing new dynamic plaques to recognize police and sheriff's...

Security Policy and the Cloud

Ask The Expert

Mark Rivera

FBI-CJIS Security Policy Compliance Officer

Mark Rivera, Customer Retention Manager and CJIS Security Compliance Officer with Vigilant Solutions, served for sixteen years with the Maryland State Police, retiring at the rank of First Sergeant with thirteen of those years at the supervisory and command level. He holds a Master of Science Degree in Management from The Johns Hopkins University and Secret clearance through the FBI, Baltimore.

Top News

California Cold Hit DNA Program Cracks Baffling Cases

December 18, 2002  | 

In the last few years, California cops and prosecutors have scored 200 cold hits from DNA databases. That sounds impressive, but during the same time period, Virginia scored 1,000. California is clearly lagging behind many other states when it comes to exploiting 21st-century forensic technology, but that may be changing.

One of the reasons that California has been slow to reap the rewards of cold hits--matches between DNA found at crime scenes and profiles of convicted criminals in a federal data-base--has been a legal challenge. But the lawsuit failed.

Now the Golden State's more than 600 Death Row inmates will have their DNA sampled. Also the authori-ties are now sampling any individual convicted of a major crime, including violent felonies, first-degree burglary, etc.

All of these samples are now being added to the FBI's DNA database, and the results have been impressive. In Sacramento County alone, three homi-cides and six rapes have been solved through cold hits in the last six months. In addition, California now has the largest state database of con-vict DNA in the nation.

Of course, having the samples from convicts is only half of the equation. Agencies have to hold onto crime scene samples and rape kits to make the system work. And that's easier said than done.

The state attorney general's office created a program two years ago to prompt labs and investigators to pur-sue cold hits. Some $50 million was allocated for the the three-year initia-tive with a goal of processing 30,000 rape kits and other biological evidence from crime scenes. State officials later cut the funding to $28.5 million after discovering that some agencies had destroyed the biological evidence to save space. In the most celebrated case of DNA destruction, the Los Angeles Police Department trashed 1,100 rape kits. Detectives ordered the evidence destroyed in all cases that were more than six years old, not realizing that the California statute of limitations for rape had been extended to 10 years in 2001.

Under the cold hit program, crime labs can petition the attorney general's office for funds to hire criminalists and buy equipment for DNA analysis. Crime lab directors and prosecutors say that's good on one level, but their major concern is processing the evi-dence before the money runs out. The program ends next October, and un-less it is renewed, the labs will be forced to look for another funding source or they will have to trim staff.

Request more info about this product / service / company


Be the first to comment on this story





POLICE Magazine does not tolerate comments that include profanity, personal attacks or antisocial behavior (such as "spamming" or "trolling"). This and other inappropriate content or material will be removed. We reserve the right to block any user who violates this, including removing all content posted by that user.

Other Recent News

Ohio Officers Pay for Funeral of 5-Year-Old Allegedly Beaten to Death by Mother, Friends
Police said Alexander Stephens and his 6-year old brother were beaten for hours by their...
Boston Officer Saves 18 People in Townhouse Fire
“You could see the flames and it didn’t look good. As soon as I exited my cruiser, people...
Video: Michigan Mother-Son Duo Join the Same Police Force
First they attended the police academy together, and now a mother and son team have been...
Video: Nevada Lawmaker Says Citizens can Point Guns at Officers when Officers Point Guns at Them
Nevada Assemblywoman Michele Fiore (R), who is currently seeking her party’s nomination...
Lawmakers Denounce Plan to Transfer GITMO Detainees to U.S. Soil
The Major County Sheriff's Association sent a letter to the president to express their...

Get Your FREE Trial Issue and Win a Gift! Subscribe Today!
Yes! Please rush me my FREE TRIAL ISSUE of POLICE magazine and FREE Officer Survival Guide with tips and tactics to help me safely get out of 10 different situations.

Just fill in the form to the right and click the button to receive your FREE Trial Issue.

If POLICE does not satisfy you, just write "cancel" on the invoice and send it back. You'll pay nothing, and the FREE issue is yours to keep. If you enjoy POLICE, pay only $25 for a full one-year subscription (12 issues in all). Enjoy a savings of nearly 60% off the cover price!

Offer valid in US only. Outside U.S., click here.
It's easy! Just fill in the form below and click the red button to receive your FREE Trial Issue.
First Name:
Last Name:
Rank:
Agency:
Address:
City:
State:
  
Zip Code:
 
Country:
We respect your privacy. Please let us know if the address provided is your home, as your RANK / AGENCY will not be included on the mailing label.
E-mail Address:

Police Magazine