Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $587,891)
The CMPD has achieved many successes through the work it has completed thus far with its four existing National Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) awards, however the current workload that the CMPD is experiencing has created the need to enhance their efforts by implementing strategies that will contribute to investigating and prosecuting sexual assault cold cases more efficiently. This enhancement will require the need for increased lab and investigative capacities. The CMPD seeks funding from the FY 2020 SAKI Program, under Purpose Area 4, to implement the following strategies: 1. Maintain their Multidisciplinary Working Group that was originally established with FY 2016 SAKI funds and is comprised of members from the CMPD's Crime Lab, the CMPD's Sexual Assault Unit, members of Mecklenburg County's District Attorney's Office, and a community advocacy organization. The group will meet four times per year to determine the efficacy of the policies and procedures the CMPD has in place to decrease the number of SAKs in its possession and to see if the CMPD's SAK tracking system is working properly to increase overall transparency in the DNA analysis process. 2. Outsource DNA extract evidence samples for genealogy testing. 3. Hire one part-time Crime Lab Technician. This position in collaboration with the Site Coordinator and the Sexual Assault Cold Case Unit, will research sexual assault cases and their respective evidence to prioritize a list of cases meeting the requirements for secondary evidence testing. 4. Hire one part-time Cold Case Analyst. The Analyst, in collaboration with the CMPD Crime Lab will research sexual assault cases in their respective evidence to prioritize a list of cases meeting the requirements for genetic genealogy testing. The Analyst will also conduct follow-up research and ensure that all cases fitting the ViCAP criteria are entered into the ViCAP system. 5. Hire one part-time Assistant District Attorney to research and prepare cases for prosecution that have resulted from CODIS hits. These efforts will contribute to the success of the project and enhance the CMPD's ability to investigate and prosecute sexual assault cold cases.