State, county, city officials back governor’s proposed expansion of DNA database

NORWICH – City, county and state law enforcement and other elected officials met with members of the New York State Office of Victim Services Wednesday in a show of support for Governor Cuomo’s proposed expansion of the state’s DNA database.

As part of his executive budget, Cuomo put forth a plan to include all those convicted of a felony – as well as all misdemeanors under the state’s Penal Law – to submit DNA samples. On Tuesday, the state Senate passed legislation which mirrors Cuomo’s proposal for the largest expansion of the DNA database since its creation in 1994.

According to local officials, the expansion will not only help to solve more crimes, but bring justice to the victims – and exonerate the innocent.

At Wednesday’s meeting at the Norwich City Police Department, Mayor Joe Maiurano said one of the most important aspects of his job is to keep residents safe and secure. As such, DNA technology is one of the city’s most crucial tools, he added.

“The City of Norwich prides itself on its low crime rate, friendly residents and tree-lined, tranquil streets,” said Maiurano in a prepared statement. “The governor’s proposal to expand the state’s DNA databank will give police and prosecutors in our community another tool to help them better protect our residents and maintain the quality of life we have all come to enjoy.”

The change in legislation would expand upon current state law which permits DNA samples to be collected from less than half – approximately 48 percent – of offenders convicted of a Penal Law crime. Under the new legislation, DNA-eligible crimes would be expanded to include all misdemeanors under Penal Law, as well as all felonies under other state laws, according to a Norwich PD press release.

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