Monday, December 01, 2008

Cop Watch: Austin Police Using DNA to Track Down Burglars in Property Crimes - But What About a Backlog?

It had to be. Just had to be.

Where else in Texas would they start to use DNA testing to track down burglars and other evildoers involved in property crimes, but tech-happy Austin - our fair state's capital city and home of the University of Texas (as well as Michael Dell and all his compadres)?

In Austin, they're using DNA in property crime investigations now ....

Yep, they're doing it. They're taking blood and saliva samples from crime scenes that involve absolutely no murders or rapes or any bodily injury, really, and they are using that stuff to grab DNA to compare with existing databases.

And it's working. So far, they've found 10 suspects out of the 50 crime scenes they've tested. Boo-yah!

Of course, they do mention a slight backlog over at the Crime Lab. Slight.

Yet in the Same Bat City, Same Bat Day, Same Bat Channel ... there's a DNA Backlog?

Seems there's a different lab that law enforcement is using for the burglars than the one over at the Department of Public Safety there in Austin. Two nationally known crime labs in the same town cuz the City of Austin decided awhile back to build its own swanky crime lab.

And, on the very same news day that one lab is touting its use of DNA in property cases, they're reporting over at DPS that they've got a big 'ole HUGE backlog of cases over there. Big. Big. Big.

In fact, DPS doesn't expect to be caught up with all its DNA testing until 2011. That'll be after their nice new lab gets finished and they all keep working really, really hard on getting their backlog all caught up.

You gotta wonder: Williamson County DA John Bradley tells the KEXE reporter that his office expects a six month to one year delay in a case when they ask for DNA testing from the DPS offices in Austin -- while defendants sit in jail with taxpayers paying $25 - $50 per day for their upkeep (Bradley's estimate). And these are the big felony cases: murders, rapes, you get the idea.

Meanwhile, since the City of Austin built its own lab, over at the City's Field Support Services Department, they've got time to test for DNA so they can track down some kid who broke into a car, or to bust a burglar who got away with a stereo and other household goods.

You just gotta wonder here ....




Austin American Statesman

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Keep in mind that Austin PD Crime lab only works cases submitted from Austin PD, while DPS Crime Lab works cases from multiple juristictions all over the state. Therefore you would expect DPS to have more case to work and have a bigger backlog.