Some interesting facts can be learned while watching forensic shows on television.

During a recent episode of Forensic Files, it was stated finger prints are only taken when someone commits a heinous crime or burglary. DNA is gathered after a heinous crime.

My wife, Sandy, asked if I had any knowledge of the statements since I had worked as a correctional officer in a previous lifetime. I could only inform her both finger prints and DNA are gathered on incarcerated criminals in the prison system. Each are entered into the national database.

I do have finger prints at the jail in College Park, GA for a traffic violation, however. Unfortunately, it was for a violation I did not commit. A vehicle in my name was ticketed for being parked in a handicap parking spot. When I was stopped for speeding, my license was hit because of an outstanding bench warrant.

I didn’t commit a heinous crime or commit a burglary, but my finger prints have been stored.

Back to the question my wife asked. There has to be a solution that would help law enforcement agencies in solving crimes of all shapes.

First, why can’t DNA be taken right after the birth of a child? Hospital nurses can swab the mouth of the newborn. The cotton swab stick would then be sent to a housing facility to be entered into a national database. DNA does not change, so why not collect it a birth?

Second, finger prints should be taken after the birth of a child. My birth certificate from 54 years ago has my finger prints and paw prints. Those should also be entered into the national database. That’s another factor that doesn’t change.

The final piece of the puzzle would be doing the same thing for every nationality that lands on U.S. soil, whether by flight or ship. They would enter through customs, are finger printed and given a DNA swab.

Maybe someone connected with the U.S. government will read this and think, “That’s a great idea!” Then again, maybe our government doesn’t think this way.

Rick Head is the editor of The Alma Times. He can be reached at