Los Angeles: It has been announced that The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), Scientific Investigation Division (SID), has completely eliminated the Sexual Assault Evidence Kit (SAEK) historical backlog.
At a news conference this morning, April 27, 2011, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced that as of April 21, 2011, all of the SAEK’s booked prior to December 2008, had been tested and where profiles were found, had been uploaded to the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS). There are currently no SAEK’s with an overdue status.
Stranger rapes are now being treated on a priority basis, with all Department entities requesting testing of those cases to be completed within five days, while all others are to be tested within thirty days.
The elimination of the backlog was made possible through the hard work and resourcefulness of the men and woman of the SID, as well as through the use of outsourcing to external laboratories, paid for by City, Foundation and Grant funds.
It is anticipated that training scheduled in the coming months will improve efficiencies in the lab and speed up the training process for new lab technicians. A faster turnaround time for testing SAEK’s is anticipated to be the result.
Currently there are 339 SAEK’s from the period of December 8, 2008 to December 31, 2010. All but 11 of them are being worked on by contract laboratories. Year-to-date, there are 329 cases under examination. Of those, 137 have been sent contract laboratories. The remaining 192 cases are either in the testing process or are less than 30 days old and are in the screening process.
Costs associated with DNA outsourcing are anticipated to be $1,658,724 for the 2011/2012 fiscal year. Further estimates place the number of requests for:
DNA analysis, not sexual assaults 1095
Sexual Assault cases (120 per month x 60% requiring DNA screening) 864
Total DNA requests 1959
The cost of each outsourced DNA case averages $2,397.
The LAPD and the City of Los Angeles are committed to preventing another backlog in DNA cases and recognize the importance of timely and efficient testing.