A "magic box" that the Bensalem police acquired recently will enable the department to solve some crimes within about 90 minutes, said Bucks County District Attorney Matthew Weintraub as he and Bensalem Public Safety Director Fred Harran unveiled the new rapid-result DNA testing device Thursday.
The department attempted a similar pilot project back in 2013, but never got it off the ground because of a $1 million cost to set up an on-site lab.
This time, a lab isn't needed, dropping the cost of the project to $150,000. The box, called IntegenX RapidHIT ID, allows police to rapidly analyze DNA collected from inside a potential suspect's mouth to see if it matches DNA taken from crime scenes that Bensalem and 38 other police departments in the county are storing at the Bode Cellmark Forensics lab in Lorton, Virginia.
"Bensalem police will be the first police department in the country to utilize this instrument in conjunction with its well-established local DNA database," the department stated in announcing the acquisition.