Evidence Facility To Address Rape Kit Backlog

Posted at 9:09 PM, Dec 26, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-26 22:09:38-05

Memphis police have opened a new $1 million sexual assault evidence storage facility.

The climate-controlled facility in Frayser was built to hold about 50,400 evidence kits. The Commercial Appeal reported the space includes a DNA storage room, four freezers, two work stations, a crime scene investigation evidence room, and office space for four staffers. It opened earlier in December.

Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong said the state-of-the-art facility will aid in completing evidence-sensitive investigations.

The city has grappled with a backlog of more than 12,000 sexual assault kits that went untested since the 1980s.

The kits were set to be shipped to labs at a rate of 300 a month, and all should be undergoing analysis in about 12 months, said Doug McGowan, head of the city's rape kit task force.