|Submitted||Dec. 14, 2017|
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To Whom It May Concern:
Pursuant to the West Virginia Freedom of Information Act and the West Virginia Open Governmental Proceedings 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.
In reference to your FOIA request for information regarding SAEC kits, I am able to provide the following information:
In September 2014, the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office switched to a computer aided dispatch and integrated records management system. Files created prior to this date were paper files and the data/stats you are requesting are not in a preexisting searchable format. Since 2014, the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office has collected 9 SAEC kits of which 2 have been fully processed, 3 are being held unprocessed in evidence, and 4 are at the WV State Police Lab. This is the lab that we use to process all of our SAEC.
The policies and procedures of the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office are considered internal documents and therefore are exempt as allowed for in WV State Code 29B-1-4(a)(4).
There have not been any known audits of these kits or the backlog.
The release of the reports that are associated to the collected kits is being denied based upon the invasion of privacy that would occur for the victim as allowed in State Code 29B-1-4(a)(2).
If you feel that I have omitted any section of your request that should have been included, please let me know.
The responsibility of the custodian /public body to produce the requested records or documents is at an end. Consequently, you have the opportunity to avail yourself of the procedures contained in W.Va. Code 29B-1-3(4)(c), including the opportunity to institute proceedings for injunctive or declaratory relief in the Jefferson County Circuit Court.
Jefferson County Sheriff's Office
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