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Amy Hess: FBI Continues Work on Rapid DNA Analysis, Technology

DNAAmy Hess, executive assistant director of FBI‘s science and technology branch, has outlined the bureau’s work on Rapid DNA during a hearing with a subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday.

Hess said in written remarks that FBI’s efforts focus on driving the effectiveness and speed of the Combined DNA Index System and National DNA Index System.

“Our interest in incorporating new developments and enhancing the effectiveness of CODIS is balanced against the importance of preserving this important investigative tool and the quality and integrity of [NDIS],” she told the subcommittee on crime, terrorism, homeland security and investigations.

According to Hess, the use CODIS and NDIS for Rapid DNA analysis works to support forensic investigations of both domestic and international law enforcement agencies through an automation of the “swab in–profile out” process.

“[We] believe that the efficiencies obtained from the real-time analysis of an arrestee’s DNA sample has tremendous potential to improve public safety by focusing law enforcement investigative resources and assisting in identifying putative perpetrators before they are released from custody,” she said.

Hess noted that FBI is looking to deploy Rapid DNA instruments at major metropolitan police departments as part of pilot programs to test the technology during the booking process.

The bureau also calls for statutory authorization on the use of FBI-approved instruments for searching DNA records on NDIS, she added.

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