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Tempe proposals would enhance rape package testing, extra sources for intercourse assault survivors | Arizona Information

TEMPE, AZ (3TV / CBS 5) – Law enforcement officials have worked over the years to clean up a backlog of untested rape kits, but Arizona’s family has learned that some rape kits may sit on shelves for up to a year and a half before being processed at the state crime lab.

Tempe police chief Jeff Glover said on an application form that his department would wait approximately six to eight months for results from test kits that were sent to the state lab. The report says that the waiting period is sometimes up to 18 months. The department is looking for $ 764,000 in the next city budget to work with Mesa’s crime lab and process DNA filings, including rape kits.

Maricopa County is about to test all of the leftover rape kits

The Maricopa County Law Firm announced Friday that the county has tested 90 percent of its retarded kits for sexual assault.

Chief Glover was unable to discuss the allegation on Tuesday, but Information Officer Sgt. Steven Carbajal said the department was trying to “please the victims.” “It’s a long turnaround,” said Carbajal. “Of course we want to accelerate this turnaround process.”

DPS said there are 291 untested rape kits in the state crime lab, and some have been in line for four months. When asked about the claim that some rape sets take up to 18 months to process, a DPS spokesman replied that the average turnaround time is five months.

The Tempe Police Department’s funding request to have rape kits processed faster at the Mesa crime lab isn’t the only budget item that could improve the way the agency investigates sex crimes. The city is taking another page from Mesa’s playbook by seeking funding to create a family advocacy center over the next five years. Mesa Police have had an advocacy center for more than 20 years, where other agencies like Tempe Police use their resources to empower victims, catch offenders and solve cases.



Mesa Advocacy Center

The Mesa Police Department has had an advocacy center for over 20 years



“It is very important to let our victims know that this is a safe place for them,” said attorney Eron Schoolcraft. Schoolcraft is one of several victim attorneys who work at the Mesa Family Advocacy Center to assist survivors. The center is a one-stop-shop with a medical exam suite, a relaxation room for families and children, and rooms for police interviews. The focus is on helping crime victims feel comfortable. “We’re giving them a choice because they had no choice about what happened to them,” Schoolcraft said.

Detectives Jeff Ference and Grit Caton use the facility to work as a team, gathering intelligence, and making sure victims have a role to play in their cases. “It’s in your time and when you’re ready,” said Detective Caton.

Detective Caton stressed that victims are encouraged to report crimes but are not pressured into pursuing the case. Detective Ference says the most rewarding part of his job is empowering survivors. “We have had victims running 3-mile runs and fundraisers,” said Ference.

The detectives use the Mesa crime lab to process critical DNA evidence. They say they can get results and put criminals behind bars in a matter of weeks. “To keep [offenders] “Temence hopes to see similar results if the funding is approved. The proposed family advocacy center and partnership with the Mesa crime lab are part of a larger city budget, and there is a public can follow the budget process here.

Copyright 2021 KPHO / KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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