Home News Local news Brief: Hovensa Donation Will Fund DNA Evidence Testing

Brief: Hovensa Donation Will Fund DNA Evidence Testing


July 11, 2007 — A $170,000 donation from Hovensa will enable the V.I. Police Department to contract for DNA laboratory testing to analyze evidence collected at the scene of major crimes, according to a VIPD news release.
“Hovensa has provided invaluable assistance to the department over the years and continues to be a good friend and ally in our fight against crime,” said Assistant Police Commissioner Novelle Francis. A portion of the funds will also to toward advanced training in evidence-collection techniques for several officers.
The company has assisted the VIPD in the past by purchasing and donating a 30-kilowatt standby generator for installation at the department’s radio-transmission tower on St. Croix to maintain radio communications during a power outage, the release said.
“The VIPD persuaded Hovensa of the importance of securing the analysis of evidence on a timely basis in order to achieve the department’s goal of solving major crimes more quickly than it is able to do currently by sending evidence to the FBI’s laboratory,” said Hovensa Vice President Alex Moorhead. “In response to this expressed need, Hovensa pledged to fund a contract between the VIPD and a DNA laboratory for a one year.”
Like other jurisdictions in the United States, the V.I. presently relies on the FBI for forensic testing and is provided no guaranteed time frame on the results for processed evidence, Francis said.
Moorhead presented a Hovensa check for $95,000 to Francis, $20,000 of which is to be used for advanced training of personnel in evidence collection, with the remaining $75,000 going to fund a contract for DNA analysis from July through December 2007. Hovensa has pledged to donate $75,000 in January to continue the contract through June 2008.
“The police department is hopeful that within the next 12 months it will be able to identify a source of funds to continue purchasing this service until the department is able to establish its own DNA laboratory,” the release said.
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