LSP Crime Lab Implements Innovative DNA Technology

Published 3:21 pm Friday, August 5, 2022

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Baton Rouge – The Louisiana State Police Crime Laboratory (LSPCL) recently became the first agency in the country to receive approval from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to conduct Rapid DNA booking operations.  This will enable the LSPCL to immediately analyze and compare DNA samples collected from a qualifying arrestee to evidence samples in the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS).

For more than three years, personnel at LSPCL have been working with the FBI and other states to develop a Rapid DNA program with the goal of integrating Rapid DNA into the booking environment.  Rapid DNA is the fully automated process of developing a DNA profile from a buccal (cheek) swab without human intervention.  The implementation of a Rapid DNA Booking Program requires a lengthy policy review and special approval known as an Authority to Operate (ATO).  The LSPCL is the first agency in the country to receive FBI ATO for conducting Rapid DNA booking operations.

From an approved booking station, the DNA profiles collected from qualifying arrestees will be generated by an FBI-approved Rapid DNA instrument and searched in CODIS against DNA profiles developed from crime scene evidence.  Positive CODIS search results will be communicated automatically to both the investigating and booking agencies while the arrestee is still in custody.  This process, which may take approximately 90 minutes, is designed to prevent a wanted suspect from being unknowingly released prior to the return of traditional DNA results. 

The LSPCL has been working closely with the FBI and Rapid DNA vendors to ensure that the necessary workflows are in place to safeguard the security and privacy of Rapid DNA data collected from the booking agency.  Recently, the first booking agency Rapid DNA instrument was installed and successfully tested at the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison in collaboration with the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office.  Following the success of the Rapid DNA integration at the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison, the LSPCL is planning to integrate Rapid DNA at three other booking agencies in Louisiana by the end of 2023.

 “I am proud of the hard work and vision of our dedicated staff at the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab.  Their tireless efforts to implement this public safety tool will place our state on the cutting edge of testing technology and systems,” said Colonel Lamar Davis, Louisiana State Police Superintendent.  “I am grateful for the collaborative efforts by our state, local, and federal partners to ensure the safety of our communities.”