Huge Rape-Kit Testing Backlog Will Vanish with $4.4 Million Plan, Mayor Says

Problem should finally be solved, mayor says
The city's mountainous pile of rape kits -- 6,600 kits waiting to be tested by labs -- will be gone in 14 months, Mayor Annise Parker announced today.

The city will spend $4.4 million to have the kits tested at two private labs.

"With this plan we will finally be able to say the backlog is gone," Parker said. "The problem was years in the making and we've been working to solve it since I became mayor. It has been a struggle to deal with during a period of extremely difficult economic times, but we remained determined. I am committed to it never happening again."

The backlog was part of a chronic and extensive problem with crime labs here; for years, media have pointed out the problems and officials have vowed to fix them.

Parker's presentation to council suggested using Bode Technology Group, Inc. and Sorenson Forensics, LLC as the labs to get rid of the backlog, some of which goes back decades.

Houston police chief Charles McClelland said the plan should give the labs a new start. "I am extremely confident this will not be an issue in the future," he said.

Half of the $4.4 million has already been set aside in the budget for dealing with the rape-kit backlog; the other half will come from grant money already given to HPD.

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Houston City Hall

900 Bagby, Houston, TX

Category: General

Harris County Criminal Courts

1201 Franklin St., Houston, TX

Category: General

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Casey Buhrer
Casey Buhrer

I think it's a good thing and should have happened years ago. I don't understand how it could be back logged to the extent it is. It's hard enough for someone to come forward and get a rape kit, you'd think it would be processed within Weeks, not years.

Andrew Hernandez
Andrew Hernandez

Awful. Really? Nice way to flip the script. I find it awful that the city can afford to build new "hiking"/bike trails but can't afford to pay for rape kits that are years old. Once again Parker and the city need to get their priorities straight.

Matthew Hall
Matthew Hall

What an awful thing to say, Mr. Hernandez. I think you need to question your priorities. I hope the city is careful. They are transferring a huge amount of very sensitive material to third party testers. It seems like there is a lot of room for error in this situation.

Andrew Hernandez
Andrew Hernandez

What's more important new bike routes or taking care of those rape kits? People need to question their priorities.

Explicit Mc
Explicit Mc

it took to long, but she would do some quick if moneys involved

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