Reporting Mary Bubala
BALTIMORE (WJZ)– We see it on CSI– cutting-edge technology putting criminals behind bars. But now, that plot line is reality for the Baltimore City Police Department.
Mary Bubala reports.
The Baltimore City Police Crime Lab is where a revolution in DNA testing is about to unfold.
The Baltimore Police Department is joining forces with a North Carolina company called Advanced Liquid Logic, and researchers from Yale University, to bring DNA testing to the next level.
The collaboration will cut the processing time of crime scene evidence from days to just one hour.
“For some cases, we will end up with three or 400 samples and we have to decide whether to test all of those,” said Frank Chiafari, director of the Baltimore Police Crime Lab. “And this should be a tool that will help us decide which of those samples will be probative enough to send forward for that extensive testing.”
At this point, evidence from actual criminal cases will not be used because this is really a trial period to see if it will work.
But the hope is to make this high-tech DNA testing common practice in criminal investigations.
“We can try to move the science along here in Baltimore, which I think will definitely improve our ability to analyze cases in the future, if it all works,” Chiafari said.
The DNA research study is funded by a $1 million grant from the National Institute of Justice.