The Spokane Police Department has won a second grant to bolster its review of evidence in sexual assault cases.
The $44,515 grant will allow the department to dedicate more resources to sort through the results of hundreds of previously untested rape kits and investigate potential leads in once-cold cases.
The effort is part of a broader statewide initiative to test DNA evidence collected in sexual assault cases that, before legislative action in the past decade, often sat in evidence lockers and were never tested by experts.
The city has now submitted all of its previously untested sexual assault kits – 711 in total – to state forensics labs for testing, and the results have begun to pour in.
Reading through those results requires the trained eyes of Spokane Police.
In some cases, DNA evidence will match a profile registered in the federal database, providing police a potential lead in the case and demanding further investigation.
The grant is the second given to the department for the effort this year. Earlier, it had been awarded $45,618 to fund up to 100 hours of staff overtime related to the project.
The department applied for the second grant because the amount of work involved far exceeded the capacity of its officers assigned to the task.
The new burst of funding is slated to cover 640 hours of additional officer overtime, or about 20 hours of overtime for both a sergeant and detective each week until the funding expires.
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