TBI Chief: No Funds to Implement New Johnia Berry Act

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- TBI doesn't have the money to follow a new law that requires the collection of DNA samples from anyone arrested for a violent crime.

TBI Director Mark Gwyn said in budget hearings today that the law boosts his agency's DNA workload from about 2,000 to 23,000 a samples a year.

But the Legislature did not include any additional funding to process all the new samples the agency is slated to start collecting on January 1st.

Gwyn said it would take at least $1 million a year to pay for the increased DNA collection. Local law enforcement officers need DNA kits, the samples need to be outsourced to private labs and TBI personnel is needed to analyze the samples.

Gwyn called it "a massive undertaking."

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)