Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy Tuesday unveiled a plan to help law enforcement agencies collect all DNA samples of sexual predators and violent offenders in the state.
The Governor directed the State Public Safety and Corrections Departments to immediately collect 100% of the DNA owed in all authorized cases going forward and to collect DNA from another 20,022 offenders who owe the state a sample of their DNA under state law.
According to state law, anyone who is arrested and convicted for crimes against a person or a felony must provide DNA, and the state says over the last 25 years, thousands of lawfully owed DNA samples were not collected in Alaska.
During a press briefing, Governor Dunleavy laid out the two main issues in the effort,
"One is the DNA collection, DNA collection from those arrests that those convicted, because oftentimes an individual that's involved in a sexual assault It's not the first time it may not be the last time we want it to be the last time. we don't want it to happen although we certainly want it to be the last time," Dunleavy said. "We're tackling a 25 year problem that dates back quarter of a century, and as of now, we've gotten the DNA from about 75% of those that are required by law for us to actually collect that DNA, and we're working diligently on getting the remaining 25% collected."
To expedite the process, the Governor has directed that funding immediately be focused to increase staffing and resources. He had also directed the reduction of sexual assault kit testing and processing times to 90 days and is increasing funds to add more staff and resources to achieve that goal.