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Congressman Eric Swalwell

Representing the 15th District of California

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Bipartisan, Bicameral Rapid DNA Bill is Signed Into Law

August 21, 2017
Press Release

CASTRO VALLEY, CA – The bipartisan, bicameral Rapid DNA Act – of which Rep. Eric Swalwell (CA-15) was the lead Democratic House cosponsor, to help local law enforcement use new technology to speed up justice – has been signed into law by President Donald Trump.

Traditional DNA analysis can take weeks, but Rapid DNA analysis permits processing of samples in about 90 minutes or less. The technology revolutionizes the way in which those arrested for crimes are enrolled in the criminal justice system; shortens the time required for their DNA to be linked to unsolved crimes; and speeds up innocent people’s exoneration.

The Rapid DNA Act will let local law enforcement agencies – under standards and guidelines established by the FBI – perform real-time DNA testing at the time of arrest within their own booking stations, comparing samples to profiles in the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System (CODIS).

“This law’s enactment proves that, even in troubled political times, we can work together across the aisle to make Americans safer,” said Swalwell, who serves on the House Judiciary Committee. “This new law will help law enforcement agencies across the nation use a more powerful tool to protect and serve our communities, to clear the innocent, and to attain justice for victims.”

The Rapid DNA Act was introduced in January by Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and by Representatives Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and Swalwell. It was supported by law enforcement organizations including the National Fraternal Order of Police, International Association of Chiefs of Police, Major City Chiefs Association, National Association of Police Organizations, Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, and National District Attorneys Association, as well as by the Consortium of Forensic Science Organizations.

Pleasanton-based IntegenX Inc. is a global market leader for Rapid DNA human identification.

“Today marks a landmark day in more efficiently fighting crime and supporting law enforcement,” said Robert Schueren, President and CEO of IntegenX. “As a company in the 15th Congressional District, we’re grateful for the support and co-sponsorship from Congressman Swalwell.”

The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office has been a strong advocate of Rapid DNA technology to solve crimes and exonerate the wrongfully accused.

“Rapid DNA technology provides an exciting new way to identify or clear a suspect within 90 minutes instead of what now can take years,” said Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley. “Law enforcement agencies across the nation, and the people they serve, will be grateful for this bipartisan effort to make their work more efficient.”

In testimony before Congress last year, FBI Director James Comey said the authority in the bill would help law enforcement “change the world in a very, very exciting way” by enabling officials to know “near-instantly” whether a person in custody is connected with other crimes or is innocent of the suspected charge.