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Rape Kit Backlog to be Eliminated by June, According to Plan [Updated]

Photo by soychemist via Flickr
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If all goes to plan at today's regularly scheduled meeting of the Los Angeles City Council, the massive backlog of DNA rape kits sitting on LAPD shelves--around 7,500 in Fall 2008--should be eliminated by June. A motion introduced by Council President Eric Garcetti and to be vote upon this morning seeks to hire and outsource enough personnel to complete the Spring-time goal.

[Update: The motion was passed by the City Council. “Preventing and solving crime is our job number one, and this plan will allow us to stay on track to meeting our goal of eliminating LAPD’s backlog of untested DNA kits,” said Garcetti in a statement. “It wasn't the way we originally wanted to use these funds, but we need to both get through this backlog and continue making sure we have funds to hire more DNA analysts so that we don’t accumulate this kind of backlog again.”]

1,200 untested kits remain and testing is already behind schedule by two months, according to Garcetti's office. For unknown reasons, an internal hiring committee in late 2009 stopped the LAPD from filling criminalist and lab tech positions, despite money earmarked for the effort, but it appears all parties are now on board.

"I've proposed a plan to take a portion of the hiring funds and use them to extend our contracts with private labs," explained Garcetti on his blog. "They've already completed the work we paid them to do this year, and they can continue to plug away if we keep them on board. My plan also calls for the immediate hiring of the maximum number of DNA analysts that LAPD can train at one time."