I have seen a lot of government waste all in the name of forensic science, but this one is utterly foolish. It needs nothing but it’s straight fact reporting…
Flashy $330,000 DNA Bus Bought by County
Designed by the company that built Dr. Oz’s jumbo bus, the vehicle will collect DNA samples and serve as a mobile command post for law enforcement. It comes loaded with flat-screen TVs, computers and an Aqua-Magic toilet.
On Tuesday, the county Board of Supervisors ordered a $330,000 DNA Collection Vehicle that can double as a mobile emergency command center. The 36-foot-long vehicle was requested by the county District Attorney’s office, which will use a federal grant to buy it.
Right now, when the D.A. investigates an officer-involved shooting, for example, its eight-man team has no place to interview witnesses or go to the bathroom, Assistant District Attorney Bruce Moore told the supervisors.
That won’t be a problem with the DNA bus, which comes with a slide-out conference room and awning, as well as an Aqua-Magic toilet that is “stylish, contemporary and homelike” and features “a vigorous flush with 100 percent bowl coverage.”
Built by LDV Inc., a Wisconsin company that also designed Dr. Oz’s Highway to Health bus, the DNA vehicle is decked out with blackout curtains for the cab, flat-screen TVs, computers, a mini-kitchen and assorted gadgets.
In addition to making appearances at crime scenes, the vehicle would be dispatched to collect DNA samples at parole offices, courts, gang injunctions and other locations, Moore said. It could also be used to haul away computer hardware and documents when businesses are served with search warrants.
Supervisor Shawn Nelson questioned the price of the vehicle, wondering if the county couldn’t find a suitable RV at a fraction of the cost. What does the DNA vehicle have that a big motorhome lacks, he asked.
“I don’t know the answer to that,” Moore replied. However, in a phone interview after the meeting, he mentioned the vehicle’s stainless steel construction, radio system and electronic gear. “It’s a lot more than a motorhome.”
Construction of the vehicle will take nine months to a year to complete, Moore said.