Local level SAEC polices/data (Blacksburg Police Department)

Beryl Lipton filed this request with the Blacksburg Police Department of Blacksburg, VA.
Status
Completed

Communications

From: Beryl Lipton

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to Virginia Freedom of Information Act, I hereby request the following records:

Any and all statistics, data, reports, audits, policies, and procedures pertaining to the following items regarding sexual assault evidence collection (SAEC) kits (also known as "rape kits") and processing:

• all standard operating procedures regarding the SAEC process

• any written policies or procedures regarding department practices on the acquisition of or handling of rape kit evidence, including protocols for its collection, testing, and delegation and transfer to all other possibly relevant locations, laboratories, or agencies

• the number of kits collected and booked into evidence from the period of January 1, 2000 through the date this request is processed

• the number of kits that have been processed by a public or private crime or forensic laboratory or equivalent processing location from the period of January 1, 2000 through the date this request is processed

• the number of unprocessed kits in any storage facilities currently under the department’s jurisdiction and control, including those held by medical personnel or at external laboratory locations

• any materials regarding the status or ultimate disposition of cases in which a kit was collected. Please include all available segregable data.

• all audits involving this agency regarding the collection or backlog of SAEC kits

• all proposed alterations or yet-to-be-implemented changes to the policies and procedures regarding the collection, testing, and use of SAEC kits

If there any questions about this request, please feel free to call us at the MuckRock office at 617-299-1832.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 5 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Beryl Lipton

From: John Goad

Ms. Lipton,

This responds to your request dated and received May 5, 2017.

I have set out each of your specific requests below along with the department's response.

1) all standard operating procedures regarding the SAEC process

There is no specific procedure for the PERK (SAEC kits) The S.O.P. would be covered in the following section (2)

2) any written policies or procedures regarding department practices on the acquisition of or handling of rape kit evidence, including protocols for its collection, testing, and delegation and transfer to all other possibly relevant locations, laboratories, or agencies

(This is the section of the Department Directive that applies to the relevant categories)

Written Directive PD90-1201

Property Management, Evidence, Recovered of Found Property

IV. PROCEDURE

C. Special Property/Evidence Considerations

1. Bodily Fluids/Body Tissue/DNA Evidence:

Bodily fluids, body tissue and material intended for DNA matching

will be defined, for the purpose of this directive, as substances and

materials in quantities and forms that:

a. may be recognized, collected and analyzed during an investigation to identify an unknown victim or offender, and

b. require specialized collection, storage and analysis to prevent damage and/or contamination to fragile DNA evidence.

c. Items of evidentiary value for DNA identification include, but are not limited to:

(1) blood

(2) saliva

(3) semen

(4) hair

(5) skin

(6) finger/toe nails

Officer on-scene responsibilities are as outlined above in Section B.

Submission of Evidence/Property, however collection of bodily

fluids and organic material for DNA testing/comparison will exceed

the training and experience of most first responders. Specialized

collection of evidence such as liquid blood, saliva and semen

must be collected by persons who are trained in proper

procedures to prevent contamination or destruction of these items.

When the investigating officer lacks the expertise to properly

preserve this type of evidence, he will protect the integrity of the

scene and any evidence, and the Forensic Detective will be

requested to process the material. The recovery of bodily fluids

and/or DNA evidence will be assigned to or at the immediate
direction of a:

a. DFS certified evidence technician

b. in the event of sexual assault, a Forensic Nurse

Once collected, items will be stored at the Blacksburg Police

Department and/or transported to the Virginia State Lab by the

Forensic Detective or the Property Clerk in accordance with

DCJS standards for handling, storage and transportation of DNA
evidence.

(This is the link to the state code in reference to the above paragraph)

http://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title19.2/chapter1.2/section19.2-11.8/

3) the number of kits collected and booked into evidence from the period of January 1, 2000 through the date this request is processed

The Blacksburg Police Department has collected 63 PERK (SAEC) kits From January 1, 2000 to the current date.

4) the number of kits that have been processed by a public or private crime or forensic laboratory or equivalent processing location from the period of January 1, 2000 through the date this request is processed

Of the 63 Kits collected, 21 have been sent to the state lab for processing.

* 5) the number of unprocessed kits in any storage facilities currently under the department's jurisdiction and control, including those held by medical personnel or at external laboratory locations

The Blacksburg Police Department currently has 12 PERK (SAEC) kits stored.

6) any materials regarding the status or ultimate disposition of cases in which a kit was collected. Please include all available segregable data.

The Blacksburg Police Department does not have an existing responsive record, and is not required to create such a record.

Furthermore; the "status" & "dispositions" of the cases that the PERK (SAEC) kits are linked to are considered part of the "investigative file". The "investigative file" as that term is defined by Virginia Code § 2.2-3706 and are exempt from disclosure as provided by Virginia Code § 2.2-3706 (A) (2) (2).

7) all audits involving this agency regarding the collection or backlog of SAEC kits

There are no audits that have been created at this point.

I am providing an inventory of PERK (SAEC) kits prepared earlier this year for the Attorney General's Office that addresses PERK (SAEC) kits from recent years. The case numbers, as well as the date of the offense and the test are redacted as permitted by Virginia Code § 2.2-3706 (A) (2) (2) to protect victim privacy. (This is an excel document that is attached.)

8) all proposed alterations or yet-to-be-implemented changes to the policies and procedures regarding the collection, testing, and use of SAEC kits

There are no changes to this departments Policy and Procedures planned in the immediate Future. I cannot speak for any changes that the state may mandate.

I have attempted to address all of your inquiries.

Please let me know if you have questions about the responses

Lieutenant John A. Goad

Blacksburg Police Department

Lieutenant John A. Goad
Community Relations Lieutenant
Blacksburg Police Department
200 Clay Street S.W.
Blacksburg VA. 24060
Phone:540-961-1150
Fax: 540-552-8456

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