Guilford County Sheriff’s Office getting new funding for DNA testing

GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. -- The Guilford County Sheriff’s Office is getting some new funding to help fight crime using DNA.

Last week, county commissioners approved $80,000 for DNA testing as part of next year’s budget.

Col. Randy Powers, chief deputy at the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office, says the extra money will allow investigators to use DNA for lower felony crimes like break-ins and car thefts.

Powers says DNA testing is so expensive investigators have only been using it for big cases like homicides or sexual assault.

Powers says from now on, they'll be able to use DNA testing to solve a wider range of crimes.

“We can now start looking at other criminal cases," Powers said.

In March, the sheriff's office purchased a rapid DNA testing machine which gets results in two hours instead of the standard 30 days.

Powers says, by next year, they plan to open a DNA lab in the old Guilford County jail.

Greensboro and High Point police, plus more than a dozen other law enforcement agencies, will use the lab.

"It helps us to get the people arrested right away," Powers said.