Fairfax County police adopt new ballistics, rapid DNA technology

A police vehicle leaves the Fairfax County Courthouse (staff photo by David Taube)

The Fairfax County Police Department has adopted some new equipment to improve how quickly it can process crimes.

It includes a National Integrated Ballistic Information Network system to automate ballistics evaluations, where bullets and firearms can be matched from separate scenes, providing key links for crimes.

The department is also “piloting a rapid DNA Test Machine to help uncover timely information for crime investigations,” Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay said in a March 31 digital newsletter.

The American Civil Liberties Union and other privacy advocates have argued that rapid DNA testing can be problematic, such as when it mixes with other people’s genetic material on crime scenes.

WUSA reported on March 29 that the use of both the ballistic network and rapid DNA testing technology are rare for police departments in Virginia.

“These are two major investments that provide our public safety agencies with the top tools and innovations to keep our communities safe,” McKay said in the newsletter.

Police did not immediately respond to FFXnow’s request for comment on the costs of the equipment.