Wisconsin Considers Collecting DNA On More Arrests

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013 at 1:29 pm

The federal government may soon be teaming with the state of Wisconsin to pay for a new law enforcement effort, which some people say goes to far.

Right now, Wisconsin collects DNA only from convicted felons and sex offenders. Governor Walker wants to require police to expand that to include anyone arrested for a felony, for a number of misdemeanor sex offenses and for any adult convicted of a misdemeanor. The change is expected to cost more than $7 million over the next two years. Last week, President Barack Obama signed a bill that establishes $10 million in annual grants for states to start DNA collection at arrest.

Critics claim that expanding DNA collection is an invasion and say there’s already a huge backlog of DNA that’s been collected, but not yet tested, and this will only slow the process down even more.

Last April, Governor Walker supported the change and says he’s going to increase the state’s budget to allow for more testing. Police say the process is still unclear, but mouth swabs could become a staple during an arrest.

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