BENSALEM, Pa. (CBS) — The Bensalem Police Department has a new weapon in its fight against crime.
The department just unveiled a DNA system that will help track down suspects faster than ever before.
You have probably only seen it in an episode of “CSI”: a DNA system that finds matches in minutes and solves crime within an hour.
However, a forensic tool seen on television, called RapidHIT ID, really exists.
In fact, it’s now being used by real police to fight real crime in Bucks County.
“I wish we had this technology back in 1987 when I started,” said Bensalem Township Police Director Frederick Harran. “It is really ‘Star Wars’ stuff.”
Bensalem Township police have become the first department in the country to have this almost-instant DNA system by IntegenX.
The system allows the department to streamline the DNA testing process.
It can test at the station instead of sending all their samples out to state labs.
“The state was doing DNA processing in 18 months,” said Harran. “We are now doing DNA testing every single day in 90 minutes.”
Not quite solving the case as fast as the cops on “CSI” do it, but getting there.
“This has exonerated people, too. DNA is not just about locking up the bad guy. It’s also about exonerating innocent,” Harran added.
Bensalem Township police can only match a suspect’s DNA against about 20,000 collected DNA samples within Bucks County.
There is legislation pending in Washington, D.C., that aims to give the RapidHIT ID system access to the national CODIS database.