Springfield Police Department sends additional 50 sexual assault kits for testing through SAFE Kits Initiative
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (Edited News Release) - The Springfield Police Department recently sent 50 additional backlogged sexual assault kits (SAK) to BODE, the private lab contracted through the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) grant. The grant is administered by the Missouri Attorney General’s office to address the backlog of untested SAKs. This batch of kits sent to the lab, account for the most recent testing made possible by the funding provided through the grant.
As part of this initiative, SPD has been able to send 112 SAKs to BODE for testing, reducing the number of backlogged SAKs held by SPD to 119.
This effort comes as a result of a project created by the Attorney General’s SAFE Kit Initiative working group, to address the backlog of 6,968 sexual assault kits inventoried in the State of Missouri. Last year Attorney General Eric Schmitt visited law enforcement agencies and hospitals around the state and observed the policies and practices in place for the collection and storage of SAKs. After follow-up visits and observation by the chair of the working group, Judge M. Keithley Williams, SPD was selected as the agency to pilot the process to submit SAKs to BODE in December 2019. Since that time the process has been replicated across the state of Missouri and a total of 1,433 backlogged SAKs have been sent to BODE for testing to date.
As part of the pilot project, 30 SAKs from SPD were selected and sent to BODE for testing in Dec. 2019. SPD was able to send two additional SAKs in January of this year and 30 in May. Results of those tests are starting to come in and as they are received by SPD, investigators will review them and work with victim advocates and the prosecutor’s office to determine the appropriate course of action moving forward.
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