Dear Senators Cornyn, Feinstein, Graham, and Klobuchar,
I am writing on behalf of the members of the Fraternal Order of Police to advise you of our support for S.499, the “Debbie Smith Reauthorization Act.”
The Debbie Smith Act was initially signed into law in 2004 to reduce the rape kit backlog by testing DNA to identify and prosecute rapists and criminals who commit sexual assault and other crimes. This legislation reauthorizes the Debbie Smith Act to ensure that law enforcement will have the resources needed to solve these crimes and help victims receive justice. The bill would provide funding for the testing of DNA evidence from unsolved crimes nationwide, including rape kits, as well as DNA training and education for law enforcement, correctional personnel, and court officers.
Your bill would reauthorize the Debbie Smith Act for five years and allocate $151 million in funding, ensuring that States and localities continue to have the resources they need to process DNA evidence to prosecute and convict the criminals who commit these heinous crimes.
On behalf of the more than 364,000 members of the Fraternal Order of Police, I thank you for your leadership on this important issue. If I can provide any additional assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me or Executive Director Jim Pasco in our Washington, D.C. office.