Colorado lawmakers have been told that the state needs more patrol troopers and newer lab equipment for DNA finger printing.
Colorado State Patrol Chief Mark Trostel and Colorado Bureau of Investigation Director Bob Cantwell appeared before legislative budget writers to submit requests, which total about $6 million.
Officials estimate 24 new troopers and others support employees would cost more than $2 million while the special equipment sought by the CBI would total $4.1 million.
State Representative Brad Young of Lamar says lawmakers are wrestling with very difficult budgeting decisions.
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- Identify potential suspects whose DNA may match evidence left at crime scenes.
- Exonerate persons wrongly accused of crimes.
- Identify crime and catastrophe victims.
- Establish paternity and other family relationships.
- Identify endangered and protected species as an aid to wildlife officials.
- Detect bacteria and other organisms that may pollute air, water, soil, and food.
- Match organ donors with recipients in transplant programs.
- Determine pedigree for seed or livestock breeds.
- Forensic scientists scan about 10 DNA regions that vary from person to person and use the data to create a DNA profile of that individual (sometimes called a DNA fingerprint).
- There is an extremely small chance that another person has the same DNA profile for a particular set of regions.
- Only one-tenth of a single percent of DNA (about 3 million bases) differs from one person to the next.
- Scientists can use these variable regions to generate a DNA profile of an individual, using samples from blood, bone, hair, and other body tissues and products.
- Experts point out that using DNA forensic technology is far superior to eyewitness accounts, where the odds for correct identification are about 50:50.
Source:www.ornl.gov/hgmis/ (Human Genome Project Information) contributed to this report.