Kentucky first in nation to use rapid DNA testing technology

Kentucky State Police Commissioner Rick Sanders called this a tool that will help “The Hidden Heroes,” those who work at the six KSP crime labs around Kentucky.

“In less than two hours, we can do rapid DNA on exhibits to come up with suspects or prove the innocence of those who have been falsely accused,” he said.  “That’s extremely important.”

Sanders said this new technology sends a message. “If you are a sexual predator in the state of Kentucky, we’re going to come after you, and we now have new equipment to come after you quicker.  We now have another method to identify who you are.  Every measure in public safety is being focused on you and seeing that justice is in fact served.”

Justice Secretary John Tilley said their goal is to not only to catch a rapist as early as possible, not just for expediency’s sake, but to ensure someone else isn’t victimized.

“Every 98 seconds, another person in this country falls victim to a sexual assault,: Tilley said.  “Even more sobering, every 11 minutes, that victim is a child.  Yet, when you think of bringing those perpetrators to justice, only five of every 1,000 perpetrators is brought to justice and will serve time in prison.”

He also said there are 2,000 sexual assault cases are reported each year in Kentucky. “But we don’t know how many thousand more go unreported.”

Gov. Matt Bevin reflected on Tilley’s numbers saying, “What can we use, given the existence of modern technology, to actually make a dent in this?  People have had stereotypical impressions of Kentucky for this, that or the other thing.  Kentucky, on so many fronts, including this one, is now the nation’s leader.  That’s something we should feel great about.”

State laboratory officials say the cost of putting two of these machines in each of the six locations would be about $3,000,000.  Bevin vowed, “The idea that we won’t find that money is inconceivable.  We will find the money necessary.”

He added, “People think they can get away with this they are more likely to think they can keep getting away with it.  You nip that in the bud early.  This is the reason what we’re doing is going to be impactful.”

ANDE Corporation is the manufacturer of the Rapid DNA Identification System, is the only one to be granted FBI approval.

The system has been tested for the past several months, to confirm the DNA identification of around 100 cases, done by the traditional method.

State Sen. Denise Harper Angel, D-Louisville, who has sponsored legislation dealing with rape kit testing said, “I am thrilled that Kentucky continues its commitment to provide swift justice of victims of sexual assault by becoming the first in the nation to use this technology.”   

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