By David Madden
DOYLESTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — In Bucks County, they’re taking modern forensic police work to the next level.
All 40 municipal police departments in the county are joining together to share DNA information.
“It’s going to be the first county in the United States with multiple police departments,” says Fred Harran, police director in Bensalem and vice chair of the county police chiefs association. “Every local police department in the county has signed up to maintain their own local DNA database.”
Every officer is now trained to take DNA evidence from every crime scene and suspect. Sharing the information will make it easier for arrests to be made, particularly for property crimes that cross jurisdictional lines.
And given many police departments, including Bensalem, have been gathering DNA evidence for a few years now, the program is getting a head start.
“They’re going to have the benefit of already having over 13 thousand profiles in the data base,” Harran told KYW Newsradio. “So they’re not going to be starting from zero.”
The program, provided by a Virginia based firm, costs 650 thousand dollars. The towns will come up with half of the cost while the county will seek grant money for the rest.