February 20, 2020
The NYPD announced today reforms to the Department’s DNA collection policies. Changes include the creation of a new consent to submit a DNA sample form, amendments to the NYPD Patrol Guide and Detective Guide, strict guidelines for the collection of DNA samples from juveniles, and the creation of an exit procedure from the City’s local DNA database without a court order.
As the centerpiece of these new policies, the NYPD is 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.
NYPD will initially conduct a full audit and review of every suspect profile in the local database that is at least two years old and older. There are approximately 32,000 suspect samples. Further, the entire database will be reviewed every four years for profiles that are at least four years old and older. Lastly, going forward, all new profiles that are developed will receive an automatic review upon reaching their second year of existence. The process creates multiple off-ramps and exits out of the local database.
NYPD will identify profiles for removal to OCME from these reviews unless the profile is of a person who, at the time of review:
In a continued effort to increase transparency and enhance trust, the NYPD will publicly report data regarding these suspect profile reviews on its public website. The NYPD will report the number of DNA profiles in the database, the number removed as a result of the review, as well as 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."
In addition, reforms to the DNA collection and storage process will also include: