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President signs Hatch's rapid DNA bill

By Dennis Romboy | Posted - Aug. 21, 2017 at 6:12 p.m.

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SALT LAKE CITY — Police might soon use new technology to speed up the process to identify perpetrators or exonerate people accused of crimes under a new federal law.

President Donald Trump has signed a bill sponsored by Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, for the use of rapid DNA technology.

The bill creates a system allowing law enforcement to use on-scene DNA testing to help reduce evidence backlogs. Unlike traditional DNA analysis, rapid DNA can produce results in about 90 minutes. It allows samples collected in the field to be connected to the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System, or CODIS, a national database that houses DNA profiles from federal, state and local forensic laboratories.

"My bill represents a bipartisan effort four years in the making. It empowers our local law enforcement officers — from Salt Lake to St. George and all across the country — to protect our communities and keep criminals off the streets," Hatch said.

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