Your March 4 editorial regarding DNA samples (

“Our View: DNA samples should not be routine at arrest”

) leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to talking about police responsibility.

I am a retired police officer (27 years with the Syracuse, N.Y., Police Department).

Police are in charge not only of arresting offenders but also of preventing crimes.

Fingerprinting is done at arrest, not after convictions. It is done not only to positively identify the person but also to learn if they are wanted in another jurisdiction.

An experience I had that highlights this procedure happened when I fingerprinted a defendant for a very minor gambling charge and discovered through the FBI wanted system that he was wanted for murder in another state.

Police need all the help they can get, and tying their hands will not promote the safety of the public.

Victor G. McNett is a resident of Topsham.