Senate Passes Familial DNA Search Legislation

Senator Boyle speaks at a press conference to call for Familial DNA Searching on February 2, 2017 (Photo Credit: New York State Senate)

The New York State Senate today passed legislation to allow Familial DNA Searching in New York. The bill (S2956A), sponsored by Senator Phil Boyle (R-C-I, Suffolk County), would allow police to search the DNA database to find a genetic match of close relatives of an offender -- in an effort to help solve a violent crime.

Senator Boyle said, “Familial DNA searching has assisted police in solving criminal cases around the world. It’s time for New York to become the 11th state to permit law enforcement officials to use this powerful crime fighting technology. It’s my hope that by allowing the use of this innovative technology, it could help solve violent crimes throughout our state.”

This legislation would authorize Familial DNA searches in limited circumstances. Under the provisions of the bill, the State Commission on Forensic Science’s DNA subcommittee is also required to create a report on familial searches and provide recommendations for implementation. This report will be made to the Legislature by December 1, 2017.  

The bill has been sent to the Assembly.