A recent Maryland Court of Appeals ruling allowing Maryland police officers to take the DNA from defendants is a setback to public safety, according to Montgomery County Police Chief Thomas Manger.
“These DNA hits enable law enforcement to apprehend repeat offenders that prey upon our citizens thereby making our communities safer for everyone,” Manger said.
The ruling affects state, county and local police jurisdictions.
Maryland State Police employees were notified Tuesday to immediately cease collection and analysis of anyone arrested and charged with a qualifying crime of violence, or first, second or third-degree burglary, or attempts to commit any of those crimes.
Maryland law enforcement officials are calling on Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case and overturn the ruling.
In Takoma Park, which has its own police force, DNA hits have solved cold cases. DNA also offers a chance to clear people of crimes, Takoma Park Police Chief Ronald Ricucci said.
"This is the biggest setback to law enforcement in 20 years," Ricucci said. "It's a sad day for law enforcement and it's a sad day for the judicial system."