Kentucky State Police awarded grant for rape kit testing

The Kentucky State Police announced Thursday its forensic laboratories have been awarded a $1.9 million grant from the district attorney of New York County in Manhattan for DNA testing on unexamined rape kits across the commonwealth.

Kentucky is not the only state to receive the financial assistance for rape kit testing. The Associated Press reported Thursday that officials announced an estimated 70,000 unexamined rape kits across the country will be tested with a combined $79 million in federal and New York City funds. The grants are secured with $41 million in federal funds and $38 million from the Manhattan district attorney’s office.

The AP reports the grants will go to 43 jurisdictions in 27 states.

KSP Commissioner Rodney Brewer said in KSP’s announcement he was pleased to hear about the grant award, and said "We now have the resources to address these backlogged rape kits, providing hope to the victims who had the courage to report the assault and undergo an invasive examination.” 

KSP said a Kentucky senate resolution in the 2015 legislative session directed the Kentucky auditor’s office to conduct an audit to find out how many un-submitted kits are stored at Kentucky police agencies. Their inquiry resulted in the submission of more than 500 kits in addition to 315 the laboratory had previously found.

The KSP Laboratory applied for the grant funding in May, and KSP says it will fund the outsourcing of up to 3,300 kits and the creation of a task force focusing on policies for the automatic submission of sexual assault evidence collection kits. The grant will run for two years, with 300 kits outsourced monthly. KSP said the the resulting perpetrator DNA profiles will be uploaded into CODIS by the State Police Laboratory. 

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