Continuing his fight to enhance law enforcement efforts across the State, Senator Mike Nozzolio is co-sponsoring legislation (S.5560-A) that has been adopted in the State Senate providing for the largest expansion of New York’s DNA databank since it was created in 1994. The legislation would require individuals convicted of any felony or any misdemeanor in the penal law to submit DNA samples to the databank.
“As Chairman of the Senate Crime Victims, Crime and Corrections Committee, I fought hard to help establish our State’s DNA databank , law enforcement’s most powerful tool for arresting criminals and protecting our streets and communities. Now, I am pleased to co-sponsor and fight for this legislation to strengthen the current State law and provide the public with an even higher level of protection,” said Senator Nozzolio. “The more information that law enforcement is able to collect, the more cases they will be able to solve, providing justice to crime victims and helping prevent future crimes from taking place.”
Currently, DNA is only collected from 46 percent of criminals convicted in our State because existing law does not require a DNA sample to be taken for all crimes, including many misdemeanors. The legislation would expand that list to include all felonies in State law and every penal law misdemeanor. It is estimated that the expansion would add about 46,000 individual DNA samples a year to the databank. This expansion is especially important to law enforcement’s ability to resolve investigations, as studies show that individuals who commit serious violent crimes often have a past record of committing other less serious offenses, including lower-level misdemeanors.
This legislation is strongly supported by law enforcement organizations across the state, including the New York State Sheriffs Association, the District Attorneys Association of the State of New York, the New York State Association of Chiefs of Police and the New York State Troopers PBA, as well as crime victims’ advocates and Governor Andrew Cuomo, who called for a DNA databank expansion plan in his Executive Budget proposal.
“It is critical that the State Assembly now join my colleagues in the Senate and I and Governor Cuomo in adopting this legislation so that it can be signed into law during this year’s Legislative Session,” said Senator Nozzolio. “By working together, we can help close thousands of unsolved cases and keep our communities safe from dangerous criminals.”