The effort to collect an estimated 1,100 DNA samples from criminal offenders living in Erie County will resume at Erie Community College City Campus on Saturday, county officials said Thursday.
No tallies were publicly released Thursday at the end of the first day of the county-promoted evidence collection blitz.
The collection blitz applies to criminal offenders who still owe court-ordered DNA samples that are permanently kept in the New York State DNA Bank.
Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III said offenders who still owe the state their DNA samples have received information about the blitz in the mail.
They have been told to bring photo identifications to expedite the process.
“The collection process is not invasive and consists merely of taking an oral buccal swab” Sedita said.
The blitz is being held by the District Attorney’s Office, Sheriff Timothy B. Howard and the Sheriff’s Office, the county Probation Department and the Central Police Services Laboratory with the cooperation of ECC President Jack Quinn, Sedita said.
Since the state DNA Bank was put into operation in 1996, DNA evidence has helped prosecutors statewide solve more than 2,700 previously unsolved crimes, including about 150 in Erie County.
It has led to the exoneration of 27 New Yorkers convicted of crimes they did not commit, including three from Erie County, Sedita said.
The state DNA Bank is part of a national DNA index system that provides DNA information to local, state and national law enforcement agencies.
The Erie County Department of Criminal Police Services Forensic Lab is one of eight local DNA labs that process forensic evidence at crime scenes and create DNA profiles, which are then compared against the state’s DNA Bank files.
Convicted felons, including sex offenders, are required to submit to DNA testing, and law enforcement agencies routinely get court orders to obtain DNA samples from crime suspects prior to trial, a practice the Erie County District Attorney’s Office has successfully practiced in recent years.
Misdemeanor offenders are not required to submit to DNA sampling.