By Dan Andrews

In February of 2015, Knoxville Police Chief Rausch implemented a test of a new community crime fighting program study utilizing synthetic dna (selectadna) to help fight property crime in Knoxville. The purpose of the study was to determine if using an advanced anti-theft device in a coordinated effort within certain neighborhoods would reduce the crime rate. The results were staggering; the targeted crime rate dropped 70% in the tested areas compared to a year earlier and overall crime went down by 21% in the test area in Old North Knoxville.

But has the trend continued? A recent look at current crime trends in Knoxville using the website appears to show a direct correlation between implementation of the Select DNA product and lower property crime.

What is SelectDNA?

SelectDNA is a hi-tech forensic marking liquid that is used to mark and identify personal property. The clear liquid contains a unique DNA code that can be easily applied to nearly any personal property. If the property is stolen and recovered by police, the DNA will allow officers to trace the items back to the rightful owner. This state-of-the-art property marking product has already been responsible for major reductions of property crime in several European countries. Criminals know not to mess with DNA and they stay away from marked areas. This does not mean that they stop committing crime but they will focus on an easier target.

The advantage to this technology is that it is both a deterrent to prevent crime and a tool to help prosecute crime. Chief Rausch said, “The DNA code embedded in the clear liquid will provide immediate forensic proof of where an item was stolen from, thus allowing the property to be returned to the victim while providing valuable evidence to prosecute the offender.”

In addition to the artificial DNA liquid, homeowners are also able to display warning stickers and a sign indicating their property is protected under the DNA marking program.

Warning signs similar to current Neighborhood Watch signs and are erected to warn potential thieves that the neighborhood is participating in the SelectDNA program.

Is it worth it?

In Knoxville, the chance of becoming a victim involving property crime is 1 in 15. According to the most recent data provided by the FBI, the average dollar loss per burglary is $2,185. It appears very worth it.

Both KPD and KCSO are hoping more communities will participate in the program to help drive down crime in Knoxville neighborhoods and businesses.

For more information about the program, please visit