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Univ. of San Diego School of Law

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

IMPD tries out DNA swabs on guns

Bilde Indianapolis metropolitan police will be testing a new tool that will allow officers to gather DNA from handguns at a crime scene.

During the next six months, officers will be using the Trigger ID device to swab guns before they are moved, enhancing the chances for recovering DNA evidence, according to a statement released by IMPD Lt. Jeff Duhamell.

"This device has the potential to increase arrests and the prosecution of individuals who commit gun crimes in our area," the statement said. "It will provide law enforcement officers with the latest technology so they can be as productive as possible when they're out on the streets fighting gun crime."

The Trigger ID kit contains three swabs and is small enough to fit in an officer's pocket. The swabs are designed collect DNA specimens from handguns in rain, snow or other harsh conditions.

"We're here today to put those with illegal firearms on notice that we have a new tool which can lead to better identification of suspects and their subsequent removal from our streets," Chief Michael Spears said in the statement. "IMPD is proud to be a pioneer in the use of this new technology."

The device was made by Indianapolis-based Forensic ID.

The device and testing services will cost $140,000 to $160,000 for 400 kits. The money is coming from a federal grant, officials said. [Mark Godsey]

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