New York State Senator Phil Boyle (R-C-I, Suffolk County) today joined Phil and Cathie Vetrano – parents of the late Karina Vetrano – Senator Joseph Addabbo, Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato, and others at a press conference to applaud the approval of Familial DNA Searching in New York by the New York State Commission on Forensic Science. This technology will 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, “With the approval of the Familial DNA Search policy, New York will become the 11th state to permit the use of this modern crime-fighting technology. There is no better time than now to give our law enforcement another tool to solve crimes and protect New Yorkers. I applaud the NYS Commission on Forensic Science and its DNA subcommittee on their diligent work to create and implement a policy that is truly in the best interests of New Yorkers.”
Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato (D-Howard Beach) said, “The Vetranos wanted to make sure no family ever had to go through what they went through. Even through their grief and loss, they saw an opportunity to do that, and they made it happen. This community owes the Commission, NYC’s District Attorneys, the NYPD, and most of all the Vetranos a great debt for their tenacity and selflessness. They took a personal tragedy and made it about protecting the community. I’m proud to be their representative, and I’ll be proud to stand with them today as they usher in a new era of protection and greater clarity, both for victims and their families and for suspects.”
This morning, the NYS Commission on Forensic Science voted (9-2) to approve the use of familial DNA searching in New York after months of a meticulous review of similar policies already enacted and successfully used. New York’s Familial DNA Search policy is the most restrictive and adequately addresses civil liberty and privacy concerns.
The New York State Senate passed legislation (S2956A) in February, sponsored by Senator Boyle, to authorize the use of familial DNA searching. Now that the NYS Commission on Forensic Science has approved a Familial DNA Search policy, no further legislative action by the Assembly or Governor is needed. There is however, a 45-day public comment period before this policy can take effect.