Partners of the National DNA Data Bank

The National DNA Data Bank (NDDB) supports the law enforcement and criminal justice communities thanks to key partnerships. Together, we work towards a common goal: to protect the public and keep communities safe.

Police officers

Police officers are on the front lines, attending crime scenes and collecting evidence. The evidence they collect can help build the case and identify a suspect. Police officers and peace officers also collect biological samples from offenders once the courts issue a DNA order.

Crown prosecutors and judges

Crown prosecutors and judges are often the key second step in linking an offender to a crime scene. Crown prosecutors make the application for a DNA order to be issued when an offender is convicted of a secondary designated offence, and a judge must decide if one will be issued. When an offender is convicted of a primary designated offence, the judge has very little discretion not to issue the DNA order that grants officers the authority to collect biological samples from convicted offenders.

The NDDB must review the DNA order issued by the court to ensure that the offence listed on the order is a designated offence.

The NDDB has a contact in the Attorney General's office of each province and territory for discussing DNA orders and submissions.

Canadian Criminal Real Time Identification Services

The RCMP's Canadian Criminal Real Time Identification Services keeps the documents that link an offender's identity to the unique identifying bar code number associated with each convicted offender DNA profile. They also release the name and date of birth of the convicted offender to the associated public forensic laboratory when a DNA match is made.

Public forensic laboratories

There are three public forensic laboratories that can submit DNA profiles to the Crime Scene Index maintained by the NDDB:

  • The RCMP's National Forensic Laboratory Services (in service to all of Canada except Ontario and Quebec)
  • The Centre of Forensic Sciences (in service to Ontario)
  • The Laboratoire de sciences judiciaires et de médecine légale (in service to Quebec)

These forensic laboratories process biological samples collected at crime scenes from designated offenses. Analysts upload the DNA profiles to the Crime Scene Index via the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) network. This specialized software allows public forensic laboratories to keep a local DNA database while using a secure line to send DNA profiles to the National DNA Data Bank.

The NDDB provides and maintains the CODIS link to these laboratories through trained CODIS operators at each site. The CODIS network allows the NDDB to compare DNA profiles between the criminal and humanitarian indices as permitted by the DNA Identification Act. When the NDDB makes a match, the public forensic laboratory is responsible for informing the investigator(s).

National Missing Persons DNA Program

The National Missing Persons DNA Program is a partnership between the National Centre for Missing Persons and Unidentified Remains and the Natational DNA Data Bank. The National Centre for Missing Persons and Unidentified Remains serves as a single point of contact for investigators. It authorizes the submissions of evidence related to missing persons and human remains investigations, to be processed by the NDDB.

National DNA Data Bank Advisory Committee

Established in 2000 under the mandate of the DNA Identification Act, the NDDB Advisory Committee provides the NDDB with strategic guidance and direction on scientific advancements, matters of law, legislative changes, privacy issues and ethical practices. In addition, the Advisory Committee reports to the RCMP's Commissioner on matters related to the NDDB operations and advises the Commissioner on a range of issues related to DNA ethics, scientific advancements and legislative changes. The members of the Advisory Committee are appointed by the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and collectively represent a diverse spectrum of expertise.

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