Act 920 has placed a new responsibility on law enforcement to collect DNA from family members of missing persons. This act was approved on 4/11/19 by the Arkansas General Assembly.
When a missing persons report is received, Jonesboro Police Department officers are required, within 30 days, to “obtain voluntary DNA samples from appropriate family members to submit to the laboratory for DNA testing and to an institution of higher education that specializes in DNA identification for a full genetic profile […] ”
Since January 1, 2019, JPD has seen 103 reports of missing juveniles and 32 reports of missing adults. Officers have received push back from family members who are suspicious of why we ask for DNA samples. Family members seem to think that something has possibly happened to the runaway/missing person, or they are suspicious that we are trying to collect a sample from them for some purpose other than what Act 920 requires.
Along with the DNA collection, the law also requires that EVERY officer in the state has to complete training on investigating missing persons cases, including particulars about when and how to utilize the Amber Alert system.
This act also goes along with the state wide certification of the Child Abduction Response Teams (CART) and a new law that gives team members legal authority anywhere in the state when they are working with their team.
Read the full legislature here: http://www.arkleg.state.ar.us/assembly/2019/2019R/Acts/Act920.pdf