City gets grant to help reduce sexual assault kit backlog

November 8, 2019

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — A $1 million grant has been awarded to a North Carolina police department in a city that has one of the largest backlogs of untested sexual assault kits in the state.

News outlets report the Durham City Council approved the three-year grant from the federal Bureau of Justice Assistance on Monday.

A 2018 report found Durham had about 1,700 untested kits. Police Chief C.J. Davis says the department pursued the grant to prioritize solving sexual assault cases.

The funding will pay for a prosecutor, two investigators and a bilingual victim and witness assistant. The assistant is tasked with reducing trauma and aiding victims and witnesses through the legal process.

WTVD-TV reports the Department of Justice says 270 kits have been tested and 405 are approved for testing.