A controversial new law that allows police to collect DNA from people arrested for violent felonies and some misdemeanors goes into effect today.
Sheriff's offices and police departments across North Carolina will begin gathering DNA from certain arrestees by collecting cells from inside their cheeks while they're in custody.
The State Bureau of Investigation will add the DNA samples to state and national databases to search for matches with DNA from previous crimes.
If an arrestee isn't convicted or the case is dismissed, the sample can be removed if the person petitions the courts.
"It has promise for us," said Charlotte-Mecklenburg police Capt. Steve Willis, who will oversee the new initiative locally. "It will put those new offenders in the DNA database before they're convicted."
The new law requires DNA from people charged with violent crimes including murder, rape and robbery, and also charged with lesser crimes such as cyberstalking.
Read the complete story at charlotteobserver.com