DNA Sample Collection

August 30, 2020

The DPS is required to provide a reasonable number of sample collection kits to criminal justice or law enforcement agencies in this state, which are required by statute to collect offender samples at no cost to those agencies. These kits are only for the purpose of collection of offender samples under this statute and not to be used for suspect sample collections in a criminal case.

The collection kit supplied by DPS shall be used to collect the appropriate sample in accordance with the kit instructions and shall include the required fingerprints.

A sample collection kit will consist of any items necessary for sample collection, including instructions and any other item designated by the Director.

Sample Collection Training
The DPS CODIS Program provides training material and workshops to agencies in Texas regarding the collection of DNA blood samples and DNA buccal swab samples. The CODIS DNA Procedural Guidelines located in Chapter 19 of the Crime Laboratory Division Manual contains information about training, obtaining kits, determination of applicability, and sample collection procedure.

  • DNA Blood Samples
    Initial training for the collection of DNA blood samples will consist of viewing a training video and/or reading the DNA procedural guidelines. The training video demonstrates the use of the DNA blood collection kit. The video is available through the Texas DPS CODIS Program and is free of charge.

    Note: Blood shall only be drawn by personnel with the appropriate medical training. The DNA Blood Database Card, which is part of the kit, requires that the collector certifies he or she has taken the specimen in accordance with state regulations. The DNA procedural guidelines will familiarize the collector with those regulations.

    An agency may request additional training with the DPS CODIS Program. That training would consist of familiarization with the collection kit and practical exercises in the taking of fingerprints.

    If an agency repeatedly submits unusable specimens, the DPS CODIS Program may determine that one-on-one training is needed for that agency.
     
  • DNA Buccal Swab Samples
    Initial training for the collection of DNA buccal swab samples will consist of viewing a training video and reading the DNA procedural guidelines. The training video demonstrates the use of the DNA buccal swab collection kit.

    DNA Buccal Swab Collection Training Video

    The DNA Buccal Swab Database Card, which is part of the kit, requires that the collector certifies that they have been properly trained in DNA buccal swab sample collection procedures. When the collector signs the card, they are certifying that they have watched the training video and/or read the instructions in the collection kit. The signature of the collector also certifies that the DNA specimen was taken in compliance with current DPS guidelines.

    The DPS CODIS Program will also provide one-on-one training upon request or if an agency repeatedly submits unusable samples.

Sample Collection Records and Retention
An agency collecting a DNA specimen from an eligible individual shall maintain a record of the collection for a period of three years from the date of collection. In addition, the DPS State CODIS Laboratory shall also maintain a DNA sample and record as required by statute and according to approved CODIS laboratory procedures.

Which DNA Sample Collection Kit to Use?
Please see the CODIS DNA Procedural Guidelines located in Chapter 19 of the Crime Laboratory Division Manual for information about training, obtaining kits, determination of applicability, and sample collection procedure.

Who Can Collect the Sample?
A criminal justice or law enforcement agency or DNA laboratory shall not collect—and the Director shall not accept—a blood sample or other specimen taken from a living person, whether submitted voluntarily or as required by law, unless:

  • The blood sample is collected in a medically approved manner by a physician, registered nurse, licensed vocational nurse, licensed clinical laboratory technologist, or by another person who is trained to properly collect blood samples or other specimens and who is supervised by a licensed physician.
  • That sample is not a blood sample and is collected in a manner approved by the Director according to a policy adopted by the Department.


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