DNA Dude: How a Local Cop Transformed Law Enforcement

November 20, 2001  |  Cville Weekly

Excerpts From Six Page Cover Story

It was a Charlottesville police officer, troubled by such questions, Who rallied the hearts and minds to turn theory into reality. Thanks to the lobbying efforts of Lt. J.E. "Chip" Harding, Virginia now leads the nation in solving crimes through DNA.

"As far as I'm concerned," says Harding, "it's the greatest discovery since fingerprints."

The concern that other states don't have good data banks concerns Harding. that concern has kept him from resting on his in-state laurels.

He's written the president, senators, and congressmen. He has met with a consulting group hired by Congress. He has been on NPR and on CBS national news twice. He has received phone calls from all over the country wanting to know how Virginia did it.

Dr. Paul Ferrara, director of the Virginia Department of Forensic Science, says, "Chip recognized the potential. He became a very vocal disciple."

"A forceful advocate supported by his personal passion and belief," said the late Senator Emily Couric. Or as Ferrara puts it: "Chip was the go to guy."

J. E. "Chip" Harding

Albemarle Sheriff's Office
410 E. High Street
Charlottesville, Va 22902