In FY2016, SAKI awarded the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) a $1.1-million grant, which they used to submit 300 sexual assault kits (SAKs) to a private laboratory for testing and update their current property/laboratory management information system. CMPD also used the funds to designate three full-time positions (a DNA criminalist, sexual assault advocate, and site coordinator) and two part-time police officers.
CMPD received an additional $837,342 in funding in FY2017, which ran through the end of FY2020 (September 30, 2020). Part of the additional funding was used to send more than 500 partially tested SAKs to an accredited laboratory and to hire a former assistant district attorney to help prepare the cases for prosecution.
In FY2018, CMPD received their third SAKI grant of $452,637 to begin collecting lawfully owed DNA to help populate the Combined DNA Index System. This grant funded a census of lawfully owed DNA in North Carolina, a site coordinator position for this specific award, and a DNA collection agent position. Though CMPD holds the grant, they are collecting lawfully owed DNA for the entire state of North Carolina in partnership with other agencies.
CMPD received $1,494,054 in their fourth SAKI grant, which was awarded in FY2019. These funds will be used to maintain project components developed in their FY2016 and FY2017 grants. CMPD will also be outsourcing the testing of secondary evidence in cases in which SAK testing did not provide probative results.
In FY2020, CMPD received an additional $587,891 in SAKI funding to continue work from their previous SAKI awardsincluding maintaining their multidisciplinary working group and other key project components. The funding will also be utilized to outsource DNA samples for forensic genetic genealogy testing, as well as to hire several part-time rolesincluding a criminalist to review sexual assault cold cases, a detective, and an assistant district attorney.
For more information on the specific SAKI awards for this site, see the table below.
|FY2016||$1,125,606||Comprehensive Approach to Unsubmitted Sexual Assault Kits|
|FY2017||$837,342||Comprehensive Approach to Unsubmitted Sexual Assault Kits|
|FY2018||$452,637||Expansion of DNA Databases to Assist with Sexual Assault Investigations and Prosecutions: Collection of Lawfully Owed DNA from Convicted Offenders and Arrestee DNA Collections|
|FY2019||$1,494,054||Comprehensive Approach to Unsubmitted Sexual Assault Kits|
|FY2020||$587,891||Investigation and Prosecution of Cold Case Sexual Assaults|
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Funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative aims to create a coordinated community response that ensures just resolution to sexual assault cases. Through this program, funding is provided to support multidisciplinary community response teams engaged in the comprehensive reform of jurisdictions approaches to sexual assault cases resulting from evidence found in previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits.