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Rapid DNA Machine Newest Weapon for Sheriff's Office

Published: June 6th, 2024

By: Don Coble

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – The Clay County Sheriff’s Office’s newest weapon to stop crime only needs a little spit, not a gun or badge, to complete its job.

The agency’s newest gadget, a RapidHIT ID System machine, will use DNA to prevent wanted criminals from being released before they can be identified by other forms of testing. Sheriff Michelle Cook said the new machine will expedite the identification of criminals linked to unsolved crimes and dead people during an informal presentation for Florida Sen. Jennifer Bradley last Monday.

“This is so exciting. I can’t wait because I know the next evolution is going to be a crime scene instant DNA,” she said. “If somebody breaks into a house, there’s now an ability to swab it right there. We wanted to be one of the first in the state to get this because I want that to be the next step.”

Counties used to have to wait between 45 and 90 days for DNA results from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. By then, Cook said anyone wanted for another crime would likely have bonded out. The RapidHIT DNA machine can return a result in about 85-90 minutes before the arrestee makes a bond appearance.

“So that allows you to have that information before they get released (on bond). I mean, that’s a big deal,” Bradley said.

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