Shelby questions motivation behind FBI DNA policy change - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Shelby questions motivation behind FBI DNA policy change

Press Release:

WASHINGTON, DC– U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala), today sent a letter to FBI Director Robert Mueller expressing his concern regarding recently announced procedural changes relating to the technical review of DNA data contained within the National DNA Index System (NDIS).  

In a press release issued March 22, 2010, the FBI announced its intention to revisit procedures related to outsourced DNA analysis conducted by for-profit private laboratories. Senator Shelby is concerned about the motivation behind this sudden change in policy, as the FBI contradicts the position of virtually every state and local crime lab in the United States.

"I have serious reservations about how this abrupt change in policy came about, and I am deeply concerned that this action was possibly influenced by private DNA vendors exerting pressure upon the new leadership of the FBI laboratory," said Shelby.

"State and local public crime labs are not a billion dollar industry, nor can they hire lobbyists to pressure the White House, the Department of Justice and Capitol Hill to change laws and regulations in their favor.  While this industry is attempting to privatize law enforcement and influence policy for a profit, the insight and experience of all state and local crime lab directors is being ignored. Ultimately, the welfare of victims and the morale of law enforcement officers could potentially be sacrificed by succumbing to the short term needs of for-profit companies when this is a long term problem that must be addressed in terms of increased capacity for public labs." 

Source: Senator Shelby's Press Office

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