Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $2,047,390)
The Tulsa Police Department (TPD) in Tulsa, OK is pleased to present this application for the National Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) Project. The Tulsa Police Department (TPD) requests $2,047,390 to continue to test, track and investigate unsubmitted sexual assault kits (SAKs), including the re-opening of cases for prosecution. In addition to testing SAKs, this project will sustain and strengthen TPD’s practices related to the investigation, prosecution, and victim engagement of sexually-based crimes.
The purpose of the SAKI project is to implement the BJA model to address the underlying problem of unsubmitted sexual assault kits (SAKs). Specifically, to test, track, and re-open sexual assault cases for investigation and prosecution.
The Tulsa Police Department has jurisdiction within the City of Tulsa which has a population of over 400,000. The TPD Special Victims Unit investigates hundreds of cases a year that qualify a victim to have a SANE exam resulting in a SAK. Utilizing funds from the FY2018 SAKI award,
TPD completed both an untested and partially tested inventory of SAKs that was certified by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The untested SAK inventory found 3,054 SAKs, and the partially tested inventory found 47 SAKs. TPD is on track to test all 750 SAKs designated in the FY2018 SAKI award. There are 2,351 untested SAKs remaining. This project will allow TPD to test approximately 1,703 SAKs over the FY2021 SAKI grant cycle.
The FY2021 SAKI grant funding will be used follow the BJA model and meet the following goals: continue testing SAKs (a minimum of 1,703 SAKs), continue the investigation and prosecution of sexual assault cold cases, strengthen and utilize the SART, and build and sustain TPD’s victim-centered response. Investigators will follow the victim notification protocols developed by the SART as they reopen cases for investigation. The SART consists of TPD (both the Special Victims Unit and the Laboratory), the Tulsa Area SANE Program, the Tulsa County District Attorney’s Office, Domestic Violence Intervention Services (DVIS), the Family Safety Center, and the University of Tulsa. This multidisciplinary team serves as the core advisor for TPD SAKI, keeping victim needs at the forefront of the project.
This funding is necessary to build on the efforts and successes of the FY2018 SAKI project and achieve new goals as TPD focuses on building a coordinated, victim-centered approach to sexual assault which leads to resolution and justice for victims.