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MASON CITY, IA-More criminals in the state of Iowa will soon have to provide DNA samples.
When a criminal gets booked in jail for a crime, the county and state get quite a bit of information.
But now, there’s a lot more collected than just fingerprints and a picture.”
DNA has been collected from criminals convicted of felonies since 2006.
“To basically start a DNA profile database. It’s just a way to collect that information and help in identification of offender,” said Department of Correctional Services in Mason City Supervisor, Mike McGuire.
But that’s about to change.
New legislation is adding anyone convicted of “aggravated misdemeanors,” to that list
“An aggravated offense is when there is serious injury to somebody or a very high dollar amount or theft or burglary,” said Cerro Gordo County Sheriff Kevin Pals.
The DNA is collected by the department of corrections.
“We do basically a mouth swab and collect the DNA that way. It actually is done by collecting cheek cells.”
Law enforcement leaders we talked with are definitely in favor of the change.
They say it will help solve more crime..particularly cold cases such as missing people, murder, and rape.
Officers say the pros to this change trumps any backlash it receives.
“I think number one, once you’ve been convicted either by a jury or a judge, you’ve lost some of your rights so taking that DNA, a lot of people say it’s an invasion of privacy but I think once you are committed a crime then I think that’s the consequences,” said Sheriff Pals.
The change goes into effect on July first.