A 2017 law that took effect in January allows police to take DNA samples from anyone arrested for a felony. And police already got more than 70 hits from such samples that could help close unsolved cases.
Prior to 2018, police input into a national database DNA samples from anyone convicted of a felony. Those samples are compared with crimes across the country. But a law that took effect Jan. 1, 2018 allowed police to input samples from anyone arrested for a felony.
And in the first three months of the year, law enforcement got 72 hits from such samples, including an unsolved rape from 2016.
Rep Greg Steuerwald (R-Danville) was one of the architects of the bill.
“We always knew it was going to have a dramatic effect on being able to match crimes with the perpetrators, but we had no idea it was going to be this dramatic [of an] effect," Steuerwald says. "These numbers are far beyond what we ever thought would be possible.”
Police collected more than 9,000 samples from those arrested for felonies January through March.