Law Enforcement News

Vol. XXVI, No. 539 A publication of John Jay College of Criminal Justice/CUNY September 15, 2000

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In this issue:

Around The Nation: A coast-to-coast roundup of police news.
People & Places: Living to serve; back to the local fray; taking the reins in Bridgeport crowd control pays off; Safir bows out.
Now you see ‘em, now you don’t: Comings & goings in policing.
Balance of power: Albany retools its police review board.
They wouldn’t DARE: Salt Lake City drops anti-drug program.
Gene pooling: California DA’s offer free DNA testing to inmates claiming innocence.
The wireless world: Tulsa upgrades MDT support network.
A ruse by any other name: Courts rule on arrest practices.
Split personality: Santa Fe looks to speed adoption of community policing.
Playing hardball: Baltimore-area task force targets wanted fugitives.
Shuffling the deck: Diversity issues force new look for Dayton PD.
The price of stupidity: Should a cop be fired over "a couple of hits"?
Ticket to freedom: The PocketCop liberates cops from the patrol car.
Forum: Two views on catching more criminals in the DNA web.
Investing in kids: How four departments are focusing on youth.
Bearing the brunt: Women still get the worst of domestic violence.

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 Forum

Bridges:
Catching more criminals in the DNA web

      The case file in the rape of a 12-year-old Englewood, Colo., girl was starting to yellow. A sketch of the suspect hadn’t produced anything concrete, and the case grew colder with each passing year. Then, in 1999, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation linked a DNA “fingerprint” from the evidence file to a man recently imprisoned for another sexual assault.
      Chalk up one more victory for the DNA detectives...

Moore:
Burglars have something to give us

      In slightly over a decade, DNA evidence has become the foremost forensic technique for identifying perpetrators and eliminating suspects when biological materials such as blood, saliva, hair or semen are left at a crime scene. Law enforcement professionals have come to understand the potential of using systematic DNA testing by constructing data bases on state and federal levels. As these DNA data banks grow in size, society will benefit even more from the technology’s incredible power to link seemingly unrelated crimes and identify suspects who were previously unknown to investigators.
      In Florida, offenders are now required to submit blood samples for DNA typing if they have a conviction for any offenses or attempted offenses: sexual assault; murder; aggravated battery; lewd or indecent acts, carjacking, or home-invasion robbery. These six qualifying convictions were chosen based on their violent nature, the probability of biological material from the offender being left at the crime scene, the probability of the same offender committing more than one offense, and other associations with criminal sex acts. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s DNA data base has experienced a great deal of success thus far; approximately 34 percent of the entire nation’s DNA data base hits have been in Florida. Based on our success, we believe it is time to move forward with expansion of Florida’s DNA data base...