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City of Albuquerque Police Department - FY23 SAKI Grant Purpose Area 5 Application

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $1,150,000)

Proposal Abstract

Purpose of the Project

The City of Albuquerque Police Department (APD) is requesting 2023 SAKI funds to sustain personnel who have been beneficial to the unsubmitted sexual assault evidence kit (SAEK) clearance and prevention. In May of 2018, it was determined 4,566 unsubmitted SAEKs were at Albuquerque Police Department’s Evidence Warehouse. With the assistance of the 2017 DOJ SAKI grant, APD was able to complete SAEK testing and announced the completion in 2021. This marked a significant accomplishment for APD, but was not the end of the backlog project. The City of Albuquerque then received the 2019 DOJ SAKI grant, and turned focus to investigations and advocacy work. This grant allowed the continuation of funding for a SAKI Project Coordinator, Victim Advocate, and investigative efforts. These efforts have also proven to be beneficial in preventing a new backlog.

Primary Activities

The proposal for the 2023 DOJ SAKI grant seeks to continue these efforts with funding for a SAKI Project Coordinator and Victim Advocate. These positions have proven to strengthen the investigations, victim advocacy, and backlog prevention within APD. The SAKI Project Coordinator works closely with APD Sex Crimes and has tracked testing progress and strengthened communication with the Forensic Laboratory personnel and the District Attorney’s Office. The Victim Advocate has also followed a victim center approach under the SAKI model to build trust in Law Enforcement and investigation efforts. The assistance of a Victim Advocate has also improved victim communication with cold cases and given victims needed resources.

Expected Outcomes

            The duties of the SAKI Project Coordinator and Victim Advocate can continue with current cases to ensure that unsubmitted kits do not accumulate again. These positions can assist the current case load to track case progress, kit testing, and victim communication. This can also benefit current cases by helping victims understand the judicial and kit testing processes. Their collaborations will continue through the multi-disciplinary team (MDT), which includes Law Enforcement, Laboratory Personnel, District Attorney’s Office, Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE), and local advocate organizations.

Service Area and Intended Beneficiaries

            Grant funding would support victims of sexual assault within the City of Albuquerque, which serves a population of over 500,000 people and is ranked 10th in the Nation for sexual assaults. APD’s Sex Crimes Unit will ensure victims are aware of their rights, receive appropriate services, and are informed of SAEK status and the steps within the judicial system.

Date Created: September 25, 2023