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Triad Police To Use Private DNA Lab

A laboratory in Burlington will begin testing forensic evidence and building a regional database of DNA evidence in an effort to help local law enforcement agencies solve crimes. The privately owned DNA: SI Labs says it can test samples and provide results much more quickly than the State Bureau of Investigation.

Information on forensic evidence from crime scenes as well as samples from suspects will be logged into a regional database that will allow for a larger pool of available information. The lab handles several thousand tests each month. Lab President Richard Clark says the goal is to grow that number to more than 20,000 by April.

Law enforcement agencies can pay about 100 dollars to have a test conducted.  The Greensboro City Council last week approved about 125-thousand dollars to pay for testing at the private lab.

Officials with the lab say they’re not trying to replace the SBI, but rather compliment already existing entities. The lab has done work for agencies in five other states as well as the F-B-I. Clark says the Burlington facility is more efficient and can do testing faster than the state lab, which can have a back-up of many months.

Jeff Tiberii is the co-host of WUNC's "Due South." Jeff joined WUNC in 2011. During his 20 years in public radio, he was Morning Edition Host at WFDD and WUNC’s Greensboro Bureau Chief and later, the Capitol Bureau Chief. Jeff has covered state and federal politics, produced the radio documentary “Right Turn,” launched a podcast, and was named North Carolina Radio Reporter of the Year four times.
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