MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - Miami Beach Police are testing out a pilot program that uses high-tech gadgets for DNA matching.
It looks like a big printer, but the Ande 6C Rapid DNA Analysis System machine has far greater capabilities.
The machine can tell detectives about a DNA match two hours after the evidence swabs are loaded into the machine.
“It’s probably a lot closer to the fantasy that is television CSI,” said Miami Beach Police Chief Daniel Oates.
Oates said the no-cost pilot program has seen some success over the last three months.
The technology identified the suspect in a shooting on May 27, over the Memorial Day weekend.
Crime scene technician Courtney Venezia did the field work.
“We actually swabbed the entire surface of the firearm,” said Venezia, “and we were able to connect that that was definitely the subject that handled that firearm.”
Another set of test results also pointed to a man after a July 16 fatal hit and run.
“We matched the gear shift of a car used in a hit and run to the suspect who we’ve arrested for vehicular homicide,” said Oates.
Even if the machine is unable to discover a DNA match, it can also be used to eliminate suspects and reduce the amount of resources used on false leads.
This pilot program is just a test run. The first bit of DNA evidence collected from a scene or suspect will always go to the Miami-Dade Police Department’s forensic lab, and that will be used in court.
Oates said the forensic lab is inundated with requests from 35 area police agencies. Backlogs, a several months wait and prioritizing cases are all part of their current reality that could improve with a machine like this.
“It is technology that the military has used in the battle arena for some time to identify basically suspected terrorists, and it is evolving into American law enforcement,” said Oates. “It is the future.”
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