KANSAS CITY, Mo. — More than 100 Missouri law enforcement agencies have cleared their backlog of reported, untested sexual assault kits, the attorney general’s office said.
It’s all part of the SAFE Kit Initiative, which aims to clear the thousands of untested sexual assault kits in Missouri. Attorney General Eric Schmitt’s office launched the initiative in 2019 after a state audit found over 5,000 untested kits.
Schmitt said Wednesday that 115 police departments and sheriff’s offices have cleared their backlogs as of Dec. 31, 2021. Schmitt’s office has sent 2,745 sexual assault kits to private labs for testing.
“Since launching the SAFE Kit Initiative in 2019, my office has made major strides in our mission to clear the backlog of untested sexual assault kits in the state. Helping 115 law enforcement agencies across the state clear their backlog of untested, reported kits is a huge step forward,” Schmitt said.
“From the outset, my office has kept victims top of mind in everything we do. It takes immense courage for victims to step forward and submit a sexual assault kit – it’s been my mission since launching the SAFE Kit Initiative to honor that courage and bravery by ensuring these kits get tested and that a backlog like this never happens again.”
The Springfield Police Department was the first major police department in the state to clear its backlog of untested kits.
Here’s a breakdown of where law enforcement agencies that cleared their backlog are located:
- 14 police departments in mid-Missouri
- 58 in southwest Missouri
- 32 in southeast Missouri
- 5 in St. Louis County
- 4 in the Kansas City area
There are also several other departments across the state that have shipped all their reported, untested kits.
FOX4 has reached out to the Missouri Attorney General’s Office to determine which four agencies in the KC area are included in this list.
The attorney general’s office plans to continue working with Missouri law enforcement agencies into 2022, hoping to increase the number of agencies that will eliminate their sexual assault kit backlog.