Earlier this week, Chuck Schumer made that announcement that he would introduce legislation that would mandate DNA testing and storage of that information for all persons charged with a serious offence.
Our state is way behind on this issue. How it is that 23 other states have such a DATA base and the Empire State doesn't, escapes me. New York State has it's fair share of violent crime, so let's not kid ourselves. I suggest the state to, not only join the rest of the DNA network, but have the federal government mandate this system across the nation.
I personally don't see collecting DNA as some kind of personal rights violation, as some would suggest. Some have stated that the cost to our law enforcement system would be daunting. Schumer's plan would provide money to get states to use tools that could tie violent criminals to past crimes in which their involvement went undetected.
At a press conference in Syracuse, Senator Schumer said "Providing police officers and district attorneys access to a DNA database is like turning on a light switch. Much more is illuminated."
He continued: "Our bill would provide financial incentives for states to set up these databases. It will not only put criminals behind bars, but it will also save money. DNA is far more accurate and when our police and our detectives and our DAs have it at their fingertips, they can solve crime more quickly."
In the county's Government Operations & Efficiency Committee, we are set with the task of reviewing mandates that the State and Fed place on the local municipalities. This would no doubt affect the Sheriff's Department here in Ulster. Funding is always the issue and with this case, if our Senator can get the cost of DATA collection and maintenance covered financially, I don't see where the GOE would have any problems.
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