Connecticut’s Implementation of a Rapid DNA Program for Law Enforcement Agencies

Rapid DNA technology delivers lab-quality DNA profiles and database matches in ninety (90) minutes, as opposed to weeks or months when submitted to the laboratory for conventional DNA testing. The 24/7 access to prompt DNA testing, is an invaluable tool as it provides real-time investigative leads for major crimes.


The Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP) Law Enforcement Program trains officers to become operators of the Rapid DNA instrument. Trained officers run suspected single source evidence samples from crime scenes on the instrument to generate DNA profiles. When the run is completed, the profile, if acceptable, will be uploaded to a standalone database which searches the unknown DNA profile against a copy of the CT State Convicted Offender profiles. From that search, an investigative lead may be developed.


Although mainly utilized by trained law enforcement officers, DSS maintains instrument and database oversight. A modified rapid analysis approach ensures a qualified DNA analyst reviews data for every sample.


Based on results developed after one year of implementing this program, it was concluded that samples other than body fluids may generate useable results. Touch and wearer DNA are common sample types used in the CT Rapid Program; however, it is emphasized that conventional testing confirmation is necessary. Consideration must be given to whether there will be sufficient DNA for both rapid and conventional testing.


Since the program’s inception in July 2021, the Division has trained over two hundred (200+) law enforcement personnel, representing about one-third of the state’s various State and Local Police Agencies. Multiple other agencies are scheduled to be trained by the end of the year. There have been 30 investigative leads generated from 170 crime scene evidence samples.


Travis talks with Sevi and Cheryl who discuss how the program is currently working, plans to mobilize for the future, and assistance that they are providing other jurisdictions within the US and internationally looking to implement a similar program.