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LAPD Eliminates Backlog Of DNA Rape Kits

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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — City officials say the Los Angeles Police Department’s backlog of DNA rape kits has been eliminated.

KNX 1070’s Ed Mertz reports.

The backlog, which numbered more than 6,000 cases two years ago, drew intense criticism.

“It was 2.5 years ago in this very room that we vowed to investigate every piece of evidence, follow every lead, exhaust every possible avenue that can lead to a prosecution of each open rape case,” Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said. “Today we can announce … the historical backlog of sexual assault evidence kits has been eliminated.”

In spite of challenging budget years, Villaraigosa says the city more than doubled the size of the LAPD Scientific Investigation Division, from 33 to 78 employees.

Officials said the LAPD is hiring and training 20 more analysts for the SID department to reduce the number of kits the city has analyzed by contractors. “We get about 112-120 sexual assault kits per month,” said LAPD Assistant Chief Michel Moore. “To build our internal capacity where we can type and test those kits, we believe will require all 98 of those individuals.”

Moore said it could take years to get those analysts fully trained and certified.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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