Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $2,000,000)
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) has achieved success through the work it has accomplished thus far with its six previous National Sexual Assault Kit Initiatives (SAKI) awards. The Department seeks funding to enhance previous efforts by implementing a comprehensive approach to resolve violent crime. This enhancement will require increased lab an investigative capacities. Due to the increase in the number of violent crime cases assigned to the CMPD’s Violent Crimes Division, the Division has lacked the capacity to focus their efforts on violent crime cold cases while maintaining their active case load. The Violent Crime’s Division has identified approximately 700-800 open violent crime cases however, the CMPD’s Crime Laboratory does not have the staffing capacity to perform DNA analysis on cold case evidence due to personnel focusing on current open and active cases. The CMPD proposes to use funding through this grant program to investigate violent crime cold cases that are not sexually motivated by using the BJA SAKI Model and accomplishing the following initiatives: 1) Conducting an inventory of all unresolved violent crime cold cases within the CMPD’s jurisdiction, 2) Designating a Site Coordinator to be the central point of contact and provide monitoring to ensure the team is meeting milestones, 3) Establishing a Multidisciplinary Working Group to address the factors that led to the number of unresolved violent crime cold cases within the CMPD’s jurisdiction, developing a comprehensive strategy to address the backlog, and discussing ways to improve victim advocacy, 4) Hiring a Cold Case Analyst to conduct the inventory of unresolved violent crime cold cases, conduct follow-up investigations with Violent Crime Detectives, and enter criteria cases within the ViCAP System, 5) Hiring a Crime Lab Technician to assist the Criminalist DNA Analysts in preparing case files and repackaging evidence to be sent to the vendor laboratory, 6) Outsourcing violent crime Cold case evidence to a private lab for DNA and FGG testing, 7) Providing overtime to the Criminalist DNA Analysts to review profiles developed from violent crime cold case evidence by the private lab for entry into CODIS, 8) Providing overtime for Violent Crime Detectives to conduct follow-up investigations and enter criteria cases into CODIS, and 9) Hiring an Assistant District Attorney to research and prepare cases for prosecution that resulted from CODIS hits. Funding these efforts will allow the CMPD to provide services to victims and enhance public safety for the Charlotte Mecklenburg Community.