First batch of SAFE Kits to be delivered to private labs for testing

5 months 1 week 5 days ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 10:50:00 AM CST January 23, 2020 in News
By: Morgan Riddell, KOMU 8 Digital Producer

SPRINGFIELD - The first untested sexual assault kits recorded through Missouri's SAFE Kits Initiative will be collected at the Springfield Police Department today. They will then ship those kits off to a private lab to be tested.

Many of the untested kits were part of the backlog covered in our TARGET 8 investigation in January 2016.

Representatives from other departments such as Branson, Hollister, Monett, Nixa and Republic, as well as various Sheriff’s departments, will bring over one hundred untested sexual assault kits.

“When I was sworn in as Attorney General, tackling this backlog of untested sexual assault kits was one of my top priorities, and remains a key focus of this office heading into the new year,” said Attorney General Schmitt in the news release. “Thanks to Judge Williams and her team’s hard work, our exhaustive inventory identified the number of untested sexual assault kits in the state of Missouri, an important step in tackling this issue. Now, with the help of Chief Williams, the Springfield Police Department, and our incredible law enforcement partners across the state, we’re taking a crucial step forward in our fight to bring justice for victims.”

The Attorney General’s Office is also currently working on developing an electronic tracking system for the kits.

"We are pleased to partner with the Attorney General to be able to send backlogged sexual assault kits from throughout Southwest Missouri to a lab for testing," Springfield Police Department Chief Williams said. 

Inventory in November 2019 was presented in a comprehensive report, which stated that there were over 6,800 untested sexual assault kits sitting in a backlog across the state of Missouri.

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