19 Action News investigation leads to change -- safer streets? - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

19 Action News investigation leads to change -- safer streets?

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CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -

Cleveland Police are closing a loophole we exposed in the city jail.

Prisoners have been refusing to give DNA samples that could tie them to more crimes on the streets. Now police have a new policy: if you refuse to give a sample, you'll get charged with a crime.

We found for last year, the city jail should have taken 9377 prisoner samples but 419 inmates just said no. What mysteries were they hiding?

Now, they cant say no. 

"We have a policy now to handle refusals. We never had a policy for this before," said Deputy Chief Leroy Morrow. 

Refusing to give a DNA sample in the city jail now leads to a criminal charge of obstruction of official business.

State law requires all city jails to take DNA samples.   

"It'll give us a chance to catch more criminals," said Morrow. "Take more criminals off the street, and hopefully, solve some more cases."

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