Ohio law now requires the collection of a DNA specimen from all adult felony arrestees. Here are some resources the Attorney General’s Office provides to help law enforcement agencies comply with the new law, which took full effect July 1:
- Free DNA collection kits are available by e-mailing CODIS@OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov. DNA specimens collected under the new law must be sent to BCI within 15 days of collection.
- The Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy offers online courses that cover the new requirements. All eOPOTA courses can be accessed through the Ohio Law Enforcement Gateway at www.OHLEG.org. The courses include: CODIS Arrestee and Convicted Offender DNA Collections, which covers specimen collection, paperwork, and common questions; Senate Bill 77 Effect on Investigative Procedure, which deals with the law’s impact, custodial interrogation procedures, collection of biological evidence, and administering lineups; and Biological Evidence Collection and Retention, which outlines best practices and safety procedures for collecting biological evidence.
- A list of frequently asked questions pertaining to all requirements of Senate Bill 77, passed last year by the Ohio General Assembly, can be found at www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov/SB77. In addition to collecting DNA specimens from all adult felony arrestees, the law requires that custodial interrogations be recorded, places restrictions in how photo and live lineups are conducted, and spells out collection and retention requirements for evidence in certain crimes.
- The office also provides a Convicted Offender DNA database on OHLEG. The application allows OHLEG users to determine if a DNA sample already exists in CODIS for a specific individual. The resource helps law enforcement agencies, corrections facilities, and BCI save time and money by avoiding unnecessary duplication of DNA analysis.
- For a recap of best practices on this topic, view the Guidelines for the Preservation and Retention of Biological Evidence at www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov/BiologicalEvidence. The website also includes an executive summary of the guidelines, a sample letter that agencies can adapt to provide notice of the intention to destroy biological evidence, and other resources.
Questions on any of the above resources may be directed to CODIS@OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov.