Putnam County Sheriff Donald B. Smith, President of the New York State Sheriffs’ Association, and seven of his fellow Sheriffs joined Governor Andrew Cuomo at the Capitol Building in Albany today as the Governor signed the All Crimes DNA Bill into law. The new law constitutes the largest expansion of the DNA database since it was created in 1994 and makes New York the first state in the nation to require persons convicted of essentially all crimes to submit a DNA sample.
“We sheriffs thank Governor Cuomo and the New York State Legislature for passing and enacting this extremely important law, ” said Sheriff Smith. “DNA technology has exponentially revolutionized modern law enforcement’s capability to solve crimes, ” he said, “and that will do much to help keep every county in the State a safer place to live, work and raise our families. “
Sheriff Smith described how DNA technology aided law enforcement. “DNA is accurate. DNA is reliable. DNA helps us solve crimes, identify wrongdoers, and obtain proper convictions in court. DNA is an especially powerful tool in stopping repeat offenders. DNA also helps clear and exonerate the innocent. “
Sheriff Smith explained that the full potential of DNA science had yet to be realized, because previous law had limited the size of samples entered into the database. “Prior law allowed for the collection of samples only from a subset of convicted criminals, only from those who had committed certain crimes. ” “Now, the new law will expand the sample database to essentially all convicted criminals, and that will effectively unleash the full capabilities of DNA science as a crime solving tool.”
The sheriff commended Governor Cuomo and all of the lawmakers who supported the new law in the State Legislature. “Our leaders in Albany worked hard to make this very important legislation happen,” he said.
Since the inception of the database, matches between collected DNA samples and DNA evidence recovered in criminal cases have led to the identification of perpetrators in some 900 murders and over 3,500 sexual assaults. Since 2006, the last time the database was expanded to include more crimes, law enforcement officers have used those added samples to identify 1,460 suspects.
The New York State Sheriffs’ Association, Inc., is a not for profit corporation formed in 1934 for the purpose of assisting Sheriffs in the efficient and effective delivery of law enforcement services to citizens in the counties of New York State. Its members include all the Sheriffs in the State.
Additional information about this News Release is available by contacting Captain William J. McNamara at the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office at (845) 225-5550 or via email at william. firstname.lastname@example.org , or Ms. Patricia Hughes at the New York State Sheriffs’ Association at (518) 434-9091 or email