Memphis in full compliance with mayor's rape kit backlog executive order

MPD meets requirements for rape kit testing
(Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)
(Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)

(WMC) - Memphis Police Department announced Tuesday that the city is in full compliance with the mayor's executive order to end the sexual assault kit backlog.

However, the funding gap to test the remaining kits is $3,775,500, and we're learning it could take several years to finish testing every kit.

"This is going to be a five or six year project," Deputy Chief Jim Harvey said at Tuesday's City Council committee meeting.

When the problem first came to light, more than 12,000 rape kits, dating back to the 1980s, were sitting on shelves untested.

5,553 kits still sit untested. The city expects a shipment of completed test kits from the DNA testing company within the next two months.

"It's a very slow and arduous process because it's going through DNA, trying to find some of the victims," Councilwoman Janis Fullilove said. "It was so very egregious, the fact that they sat there for however long."

Police say some of the victims are not coming forward because they do not want to revisit the emotional trauma.

The good news is the department has met every benchmark in the mayor's executive order to end the backlog. Plus, the federal government should be sending grant money to Memphis sometime in October.

Click here to read the report presented to the council this afternoon.

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