NYPD announces reforms to DNA collection policies

The NYPD has announced several changes to how it collects DNA.

The changes will include the creation of a new form where people can consent to submitting a DNA sample, strict guidelines for the collection of DNA samples from juveniles and streamlining the process of being removed from the city’s DNA database upon acquitted of crimes.  

The NYPD is also adopting a procedure where it will notify the independent Office of Chief Medical Examiner, the agency that maintains the city’s local DNA database, which suspect DNA profiles will be removed from the local database. Prior to this change, a profile could only be removed from the local database if a court order was issued directing such removal. The NYPD will now conduct regular reviews of suspect profiles that have been collected and notify OCME of approval to remove where warranted. 

The NYPD’s entire DNA database will be reviewed every four years for profiles that are at least four years old, and all new profiles will receive an automatic review upon reaching their second year of existence. 

Police will also publically report data regarding the number of DNA profiles in its database, the number removed as a result of reviews, and the frequency of how often each exception to removal has been employed. 

“As a Department, we have reformed policies and practices to support a system that is fair and effective while also cultivating trust with the community,” said Police Commissioner Dermot Shea. “These changes are common sense and incorporate feedback we have gathered without compromising the ability for officers to successfully identify criminals, build strong cases and bring justice for victims.”


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