With California officials 14 months behind in putting DNA evidence into a database, Los Angeles police detectives are having a tougher time identifying suspects in hundreds of violent crimes, reports the Los Angeles Times. The City Council’s Public Safety Committee recommended that the full council call on the state to catch up on entering DNA samples into the database. The backlog involves about 275,000 samples from criminals.
The state database, created by voters in 2004, has been hampered by staffing shortages that have been exacerbated by the state’s low pay. A new contract will increase salaries by 14 percent. Law enforcement agencies throughout the state are authorized to take DNA samples from everyone they arrest who has been convicted of a felony. The Los Angeles police cold case unit has linked 20 murders to five unidentified suspects through various pieces of forensic evidence, including DNA in some cases.