RAPID DNA – Phil Pulaski

Phil Pulaski has 40 years of law enforcement experience. During 2014, Phil Pulaski retired from the New York City Police Department (NYPD) after more than 33 years of service. He spent his last five years in the NYPD as Chief of Detectives and oversaw 3,600 personnel citywide. As Chief of Detectives, Phil Pulaski also was responsible for the largest municipal forensic laboratory, crime scene unit and latent print unit in the United States.

After retiring from the NYPD, Phil Pulaski worked with his friend Chief Daniel Oates in the Miami Beach Police Department (MBPD) and helped the MBPD implement RAPID DNA technology. He was the commanding officer of the criminal investigations section and had 110 investigative personnel working for him including the crime scene unit. While working in the MBPD, Phil Pulaski became a member of the FBI RAPID DNA Task Force and American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors (ASCLD) RAPID DNA Task Group. Phil Pulaski is helping lead a collaborative effort within the law enforcement, legal and forensic science community to develop nationwide protocols for the use of Rapid DNA technology by police agencies in a non-laboratory environment.

RAPID DNA technology can provide results from crime scene DNA that help identify criminals in a matter of hours, rather than the months as was previously the case. Developed by 2 different private companies, the Rapid DNA instrument is approximately the size of a microwave oven and can be operated by a properly trained police officer. The RAPID DNA instruments are designed to automate the complex process of traditional DNA analysis. Working with single source biological evidence, the sample is loaded within a disposable “chip” and placed in the instrument. Within two hours, a traditional electropherogram and corresponding DNA profile are generated.

The FBI RAPID DNA Task Force published a document entitled “Non-CODIS RAPID DNA Considerations and Best Practices for Law Enforcement Use” that contains guidelines for police agencies implementing RAPID DNA technology in a non-laboratory environment. The FBI RAPID DNA Task Force also published a document entitled “Rapid DNA Testing for Non-CODIS Uses: Considerations for Court” that contains guidelines reading discovery, pre-trial suppression motions, Daubert hearings and trial testimony. Both documents provide a blueprint for police agencies who want to successfully implement a high quality RAPID DNA program in a non-laboratory environment.