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Forensic DNA Technology

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Awardee County
New Hanover County
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $400,000)

BJA FY 2022 Byrne Discretinoary Community Project Funding/Byrne Discretionary Grants Program

Forensic DNA Technology




New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office is the primary law enforcement agency in New Hanover

County located in Southeastern North Carolina.  It employs over 500 Deputies, Detention

 Officers and civilians in 7 divisions to include Patrol, Support, Vice & Narcotics, Detention,

Animal Services, Judicial and Detectives.

The primary function of the Detective Division is to conduct follow-up investigations of crimes.

Detectives from specialized units are assigned to investigate crimes based on their expertise.

For example, Fraud cases are assigned to the White Collar Crimes Unit, Child Sexual Assault

cases are assigned to the Juvenile/Child Abuse Unit, and so on.  Detectives also investigate

crimes involving Homicide, Sexual Assault, Property Crimes arising from Breaking and Entering

and Larceny, Domestic Violence, Assaults and reports of Missing Persons, to name a few.

In August 2020, the FBI NDIS approved Thermo Fisher Scientific’s Rapid DNA Solution for

the National DNA Index system known as the Applied BiosystemsTM RapidHITTM  ID System,

allowing investigators to generate forensic DNA results in virtually any setting in as little as 90


This system would provide the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Detectives the ability to access

forensic intelligence that will immediately impact an investigation or link suspects with past

crimes while they are still in custody. The Applied BiosystemsTM  RapidHITTM  ID  System is the

ideal rapid DNA platform for generating lab-quality forensic DNA profiles for reference samples

and crime scene samples and takes minimal training. Set-up to process a sample takes just one

minute of hands-on time, as the fully automated RapidHITTM ID System can generate short

tandem repeat (STR) DNA profiles. When paired with BodeHITSTM software allowing the

creation of a local DNA database, this partnership offers sample matching, familial search,

kinship and staff elimination database applications. The samples generated can be quickly

searched amongst a locally generated database, in addition to generating results compatible with

established DNA databases, so there can be information sharing over serval platforms.

If awarded, the Byrne Discretionary Community Project/Byrne Discretionary Grant Program

funds would be used to procure this RapidHITTM   ID System to accurately and expeditiously

identify unbiased biological DNA from suspects in a crime and exclude innocent individuals,

preventing needless arrests, interrogations and time wasted chasing dead-end leads.

Additionally, the BodeHITSTM  System would also be purchased to take the DNA samples and

create a new local database to be shared with surrounding agencies.

The speed and accuracy of this process will make the citizens of New Hanover County safer and

improve community relations by providing intelligence for investigations resulting in arrests,

convictions and exonerations in an unbiased manner. New Hanover County Sheriff’s Detectives

will be able to solve more and smaller crimes, such as property crimes, since they can apply

forensic DNA profiling to a wider range of crimes. The systems provide the New Hanover

County Investigators with better, faster and more cost-effective resources to fight crime and

improve law enforcement relations with the community.

Date Created: July 26, 2022