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Comprehensive Approach to Evaluating Any and All Unsubmitted Sexual Assault Kits to CODIS

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Awardee County
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $600,000)

The Town of Davie is a municipal agency nestled in central Broward County. The Town is home to over 107,000 residents and routinely increases in population due to the influx of students and faculty who attend school at the South Florida Education Center (SFEC). The SFEC is home to Nova Southeastern University, Florida Atlantic University (Broward Campus), Broward College, McFatter Technical Center, and the University of Florida's Agricultural Center. The Town of Davie Police Department (DPD) is seeking BJA funding via the National Sexual Assault Kit Initiative Competitive Grant Program, Purpose Area 1, in order to examine issues related to the handling of sexual assault kits (SAKs), develop and implement a methodology to improve the processing and preservation of quality DNA evidence, and the provision of trauma-informed victim services.

If awarded funding, the Town of Davie Police Department intends to address the following issues:

The number of unsubmitted SAKs in our inventory,
Fragmented SAKs-related inventory and investigative logs,
Poor infrastructure related to SAKs storage,
Lack of exposure of detectives and a victim advocate to current best practices in sex crime investigations and victim assistance, and
Non-standardized victim notification protocols.

The issues above have resulted in a lack of closure for the victim, decreased likelihood of identifying/apprehending violent offenders, and decreased likelihood of prosecution.  To address these issues, the Davie Police Department intends to initiate BJA's Model which involves:

Commence the identification and inventorying of all unsubmitted SAKs,
Create a multidisciplinary working group to ensure SAKs are submitted timely, and
Designate a site coordinator to ensure SAKs are processed and analyzed in accordance with CODIS and ViCAP reporting guidelines.

The purpose of the grant funding is to assist in identifying all eligible SAKs which have not been submitted for DNA processing or CODIS filing. Additionally, the Department will have regular meetings with key personnel to ensure SAKs are processed timely and submitted for indexing analysis. Furthermore, the Department has identified the need for investigative follow-up which involves not only the detectives assigned to the case but also the Victim Advocate who provides the victim assistance in obtaining services as well as support and guidance throughout the court proceeding process. Should the Town of Davie Police Department be awarded grant funding from BJA, the agency will ensure all guidelines and requirements are met with the utmost professionalism. The Town of Davie Police Department hopes this funding opportunity assists in bringing justice to the victims of these crimes.

Date Created: September 28, 2022