Oct 162011
 
 October 16, 2011  Surveillance, U.S., Workplace

Dave Collins of Associated Press reports:

When police in southern Louisiana were investigating the deaths of eight women in 2009, the sophistication of the crimes set off rumors that the serial killer was a police officer — speculation that became so pervasive that officials ordered DNA testing of law enforcement personnel to rule it out.

All local officers agreed to the testing and were eliminated as suspects, but the killer remains at large, said Jefferson Davis Parish Sheriff Ricky Edwards.

Having officers’ DNA samples on file is important for saving time in investigations and fending off doubt about evidence at trials because it allows authorities to identify unknown genetic material found at crime scenes, Edwards and other police and crime lab officials say.

Police in other parts of the country, however, are not as willing to hand over their DNA. Rank-and-file police from Connecticut to Chicago to Los Angeles have opposed what some experts say is a slowly emerging trend in the U.S. to collect officers’ DNA

Read more on SacBee.

Wow is this a slippery slope. If you collect DNA from police as a pre-condition of employment, and their DNA goes into a national database, what happens when the individual retires or quits the force?  And what if a DNA search of the database reveals that a police officer is likely related to an unknown/as-yet-unidentified suspect?

I have long opposed the expanding collection of DNA from those who are not convicted of crimes.  Collecting DNA for employment is equally – or even more – problematic, and I support the officers’ unions who are fighting this.

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