Maryland’s DNA Database Records 4,000th Hit

May 29, 2015

MSP Loenardtown464Colonel William M. Pallozzi, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police, today announced another milestone for Maryland’s DNA database, supporting its role as an invaluable tool to law enforcement in the ongoing effort to reduce crime, apprehend criminals, and exonerate the innocent.

Maryland’s DNA database, housed at the State Police Forensic Sciences Division laboratory, has now recorded 4,000 positive comparisons, or “hits,” as they are commonly referred to. A positive comparison occurs when DNA obtained from a crime victim or scene is matched with either a known offender sample or DNA from another crime scene that is on file in Maryland’s DNA database, or CODIS, the Combined DNA Index System, which enables access to the national database.

Earlier this month, scientists at the Maryland State Police Forensic Sciences Division forwarded information to detectives at a law enforcement agency in Maryland that the 4,000th positive DNA comparison through the use of Maryland’s DNA database was connected to an open felony crime they are investigating. Specifics in this case cannot be made known at this time because the investigation is ongoing and the suspect has not been charged.

Maryland’s DNA database was established by law in 1994 and the first positive comparison occurred in 1998. It was eight years later, in August 2006, when State Police scientists reached the 500th hit.

Twenty-three months later, the 1,000th hit was recorded in July 2008. Fifteen months later, in October 2009, another 500 positive comparisons were reached. The 2,000th positive comparison mark was reached in January 2011. The 3,000th positive comparison was made in June of 2013.

As of mid-May 2015, there were 115,442 convicted offender DNA profiles in CODIS. Current Maryland law requires all persons convicted of a felony, fourth degree burglary, or breaking/entering of a motor vehicle to submit a DNA sample that becomes part of the DNA database.

On January 1, 2009, legislation took effect that requires those arrested and charged with qualifying violent crimes, or 1st, 2nd, and 3rd degree burglaries and attempts to commit those crimes, to submit a DNA sample. As of mid-May 2015, there were 28,000 DNA profiles in this database.

The success of the statewide DNA database is due to the diligent efforts and cooperation of many individuals. They include the personnel of the Maryland State Police Forensic Sciences Division and those in local police DNA laboratories, as well as the cooperative collection efforts by the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention, the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, the Department of Parole and Probation, sheriff’s offices and detention centers across the state, and Maryland’s district and circuit court systems.

3 Responses to Maryland’s DNA Database Records 4,000th Hit

  1. MarineVet on May 29, 2015 at 10:01 am

    Taking a DNA sample from all felony arrestees violates the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution as an unreasonable search and seizure.

    The Justification that it is no different than taking fingerprints or photographs of arrestees is untrue. DNA contains extraordinary amounts of private personal information which is not found through fingerprinting an arrestee. This is Minority Report type of stuff here.

    Additionally, the primary purpose of fingerprinting an arrestee is to verify the identity of the individual, whereas the collection of DNA is for the investigative purpose of linking that person to other crimes.

    But this is Maryland…

    • Me2 on May 29, 2015 at 10:36 pm

      Felons have more rights than victims these days, and that’s just not right. I don’t think the idea behind the constitution was to protect criminals.

      It is no different than fingerprinting. This is justified by the fact that “extraordinary amounts of private personal information” as you put it isn’t exposed. It’s simply being added to a database for possible future reference.

      For many decades fingerprinting was the ONLY way to ID criminals, then by pulling their records after matching the prints was for the soul purpose of confirming who they were and finding history of past crimes. As well as to be used in court cases. First done by with nothing but the aid of human eyes, later by computers. Still there was a large margin for error.

      Difference? Fingerprinting only works if clear near perfect fingerprints are found. DNA on the other hand sings loud, sings clear and most importantly sings accurately to many forms of left behind evidence.Raises the odds of a capture considerably.

      So do you want felons to get away crimes or get caught?

      To those who think giving up a swab violates you I say this. If you hadn’t put yourself in the position to be asked for one there would be no need for debate.

  2. ZeroFuxGiven on May 30, 2015 at 12:02 am

    I agree with MarineVet. Regardless of how much this has helped solve crimes, I hope that mankind will soon develop a moral standard that gives us “ownership” of everything inside of our bodies.