• DNA kits give Pacific Grove Police another tool

    By Cameron Douglas

    The Pacific Grove Police Department now has DNA sampling kits available to all its patrol officers, providing another means of gathering evidence at crime scenes. With training provided by officers from Monterey, where the kits are in use, PG officers have gained yet another means of solving cases.

    And it’s pretty low-tech. A kit has two cotton swabs, a small bottle of distilled water, and small boxes to place the tips in. One tip is a control and the other gathers the DNA from food wrappers, drinking cups, whatever is found.

    “This technology is developing just like fingerprinting did,” said PGPD Commander John Miller. “It’s an expansion of the DNA collection program.” In California, people arrested on felony charges have to give DNA samples as well as fingerprints. The database is expanding; and the new kits give officers a low-cost method to help identify suspects.

    Like fingerprints, a lot of different DNA can be collected at a crime scene. But the presence of a felon’s DNA can put investigators on the fast track to an arrest. Samples are sent to the lab at the Department of Justice, and then go into the DOJ database for reference. Pacific Grove patrol officers can contact their sergeant to drop off a kit if the situation warrants. Before, a call had to be put through to the Sheriff’s Department.

    Miller cites cases in Florida, where the kits have led to the apprehension of violent offenders. He says that while training for use of the kits continues, PG detectives have already used them, and that “has yielded some leads” in recent cases here.

    posted to Cedar Street Times on February 8, 2011

    Topics: Current Edition, Front PG News


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