Albemarle County Officials Urging Crime Commission Study

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Two officers of the law in central Virginia are joining forces in hopes of convicting more guilty criminals.

On Thursday Albemarle County Sheriff Chip Harding and Albemarle County Commonwealth's Attorney Robert Tracci sent a letter to lawmakers in Richmond asking for a state crime commission study.

The hope is to determine whether adding DNA for criminals convicted of certain misdemeanor crimes to the state database could help convict those who are guilty.

"We're hopeful we can get it to the crime commission, where it can be more in-depth study and you have a whole group of people on the commission, that, we feel like, when they look at the data, will come out in support, which will give us a much, much stronger voice, maybe next year going back to the general assembly," said Albemarle County Sheriff Chip Harding.

In a statement to NBC29, Tracci said, "I am proud to lend my personal support to this important bipartisan study to examine expanding DNA collection for class one misdemeanor convictions. DNA solves crimes and frees the innocent. In addition to its patron, Delegate Steve Landes is a co-patron of this important measure, and we fully expect more bipartisan support."

Harding has pushed for enhancing the state's DNA database in the past. This year he plans to go to Richmond along with Tracci and the family of murdered University of Virginia student Hannah Graham in support of the enhancement.

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