Gov. Perdue today called on the General Assembly to enact a series of public safety initiatives that will result in safer communities and ensure that North Carolina is the best place in the world to live and work. Among the initiatives announced today is funding for law enforcement to collect DNA samples every time they make a felony arrest. The SBI predicts the change will solve 100 cases in the first year alone.
"Safe communities are a critical part of ensuring North Carolina emerges from this recession poised to be the best place in the world to live and work," said Perdue. "We can't create jobs or grow businesses unless folks feel safe."
Twenty-three states and the federal government already have laws authorizing DNA samples upon arrest.
"DNA is the 21st century fingerprint and it's more accurate," said Attorney General Roy Cooper. "Many violent crimes are committed by repeat offenders, and catching them early after arrest can prevent crime. This proposal will save lives, prevent violent crime by repeat offenders, solve cold cases and exonerate those wrongly accused of a crime."
Gov. Perdue also called for $10 million for the Criminal Justice Law Enforcement Automated Data Services (CJ LEADS) project to put all criminal records in one comprehensive system. This technology will help law enforcement communicate more efficiently and help catch criminals faster.
The Governor's legislative crime package was announced in a press conference at Guilford Technical Community College. She was joined by law enforcement officers and public safety officials, as well as, state, local and community leaders. Other elements of the crime package include:
* $5 million to expand the use of VIPER radios for communication between first responders
* Salary increases to recruit and retain probation officers
* Restored funding for the N.C. Victims Assistance Network