Tennessee sexual assault kits head to Florida for testing

Posted at 6:12 AM, Mar 07, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-07 08:02:52-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is getting help processing hundreds of sexual assault kits. This comes as they are trying to speed up the process.

The TBI got $1.5 million from the federal government and so far they have sent 550 kits to a DNA lab in South Florida.

Here is the breakdown:

  • 250 from the Jackson Crime Laboratory
  • 250 from Knoxville
  • 50 from Nashville

If there is more grant funding available this year the TBI plans to submit up to 1,000 of these kits costing more than $2,000 a kit.
“This outsourcing project helps us take an immediate step, as we continue to discuss longer-term fixes. We’re hopeful the General Assembly will approve budget enhancements called for in Governor Lee’s plan, which we believe addresses key staffing and resource needs to better position the Bureau for a bright future," TBI Director David Rausch said in a statement.

At the same time as all this is happening, there is a bill making its way through the legislature that would require the TBI to analyze a kit within 30 days of getting it.

The bill is on the Senate Judiciary Committee calendar for Tuesday.