Rep. McSweeney’s Bipartisan Resolution Encourages the Use of Rapid DNA to Address State’s Crime Lab Backlog

Springfield, IL – Families of crime victims are growing more and more frustrated with the state’s crime lab backlog, prompting State Rep. David McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills) to introduce a bipartisan resolution to develop a possible solution.
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“It typically takes up to one year for the Illinois State Police to process biological evidence and victims’ families deserve better than this,” McSweeney said. “The longer that cases sit still, the more difficult it is for them to be solved. We owe it to the victims’ families to move as quickly as we can to solve these cases. We should not ignore the growing backlog at our crime lab.”

Rep. McSweeney has introduced House Joint Resolution 7, a bipartisan resolution encouraging the Illinois State Police to develop a plan to use Rapid DNA in Illinois and to issue a report on their findings by September of this year. Rapid DNA is a system to fully automate the generation of a full DNA profile from a cheek swab. Rapid DNA evidence can generally identify a suspect within hours.

“Rapid DNA is the solution we need to the backlog in our crime labs,” McSweeney said. “We know that the FBI is currently conducting a pilot program on the use of Rapid DNA. We need to bring Rapid DNA to Illinois as soon as possible.”

The resolution states, “The Illinois State Police is directed to review and evaluate its varied duties and responsibilities to determine the most effective and efficient use of Rapid DNA technology and to recommend improvements to Illinois' DNA submission laws with the goal of taking full advantage of Rapid DNA technology throughout Illinois.”

HJR 7 has been introduced and was passed unanimously by the House State Government Administration Committee. The measure will now move to the House floor. State Sen. Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) has prefiled to carry the measure in the Senate once it has passed the Illinois House.

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