Dear Representative Reschenthaler,
I am writing on behalf of the members of the Fraternal Order of Police to advise you of our support for H.R. 6688, the “Cold Case Modernization Act.”
Forensic genetic genealogy (FGG) is a technique that combines traditional genealogy research with DNA analysis. The use of FGG by law enforcement is growing across the United States, and it is having a revolutionary impact in solving old and cold cases as well as assisting in ongoing investigations. Its use has already solved hundreds of murder, sexual assault, and unidentified human remains cases, giving peace of mind to the families who finally know the fate of their loved ones.
The ability to conduct this type of state-of-the-art DNA testing is expensive and not always available to law enforcement agencies with limited resources. Currently, the interim policy at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) provides funding for FGG testing only in homicide cases, excluding a large number of unidentified remains from using Federal funds to close other cases—including missing persons. Your legislation will extend DOJ grant funding for FGG testing to cover the identification process of all unidentified human remains, without regard to the manner of their death.
Expanding the FGG program will provide investigators with the necessary tools and resources to identify the thousands of unidentified human remains or genetic material in old and cold cases and allow us to bring justice to the victims and closure for their families. The FOP is proud to support this bill.
On behalf of the more than 373,000 members of the Fraternal Order of Police, I thank you for your leadership on this issue. If I can be of any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me or Executive Director Jim Pasco in our Washington, D.C. office.
cc: Joseph Regan, President, Pennsylvania State Lodge