Local level SAEC polices/data (Worcester Police Department)

Beryl Lipton filed this request with the Worcester Police Department of Worcester, MA.
Status
Completed

Communications

From: Beryl Lipton

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Massachusetts Public Records Law, M.G.L. c.66, §10, 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.

I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as we believe this request is in the public interest, as suggested but not stipulated by the recommendations of the Massachusetts Supervisor of Public Records. The requested documents will be made available to the general public free of charge as part of the public information service at MuckRock.com, processed by a representative of the news media/press and is made in the process of news gathering and not for commercial usage.

I expect the request to be filled in an accessible format, including for screen readers, which provide text-to-speech for persons unable to read print. Files that are not accessible to screen readers include, for example, .pdf image files as well as physical documents.

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 10 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Beryl Lipton

From: Hanlon, Michael J.

Dear Beryl Lipton,

We have received your below public records request. Regarding our policies pertaining to SAEC kit collection, please see the below excerpt from the Worcester Police Policies and Procedures as it pertains to the requested information. Please be advised, all of the WPD policies and procedures are available free of charge with links on the WPD home page.

Evidence Requiring Special Handling/Refrigeration/Rape Kits/Drawn Blood Evidence: The following evidence forms require specialized handling according to the following guidelines:

* Rape Kits: Once retrieved from a medical facility, sealed Rape Kits are to be transported to police HQ directly and submitted into evidence. During day time hours when DB Evidence Custodians are on duty, they are to be personally submitted to these DB Evidence custodians. If after hours, these kits are to be placed in refrigeration in the Operations Division and a journal entry is to be completed notifying the DB Evidence Custodian of same.

* Drawn Blood Sample Evidence: Properly obtained evidence from a medical facility is to be kept refrigerated pending analysis at the State Crime Lab. Once obtained, the blood evidence is to be transported to police HQ directly and submitted into evidence. During day time hours when DB Evidence Custodians are on duty, they are to be personally submitted to these DB Evidence custodians. If after hours, these kits are to be placed in refrigeration in the Operations Division and a journal entry is to be completed notifying the DB Evidence Custodian of same. Investigators assigned to the Crash Reconstruction Unit are to handle Blood Sample Evidence in accordance with the internal procedures established in that unit.

* DNA Swab Evidence lawfully taken from individuals will be handled according to CSU internal procedures.

* Other evidence forms that required special handling are to be dealt with by personnel of the CSU or at minimum, only after close consultation with and under the guidance of CSU personnel.

I have checked with members of our Detective Bureau who conducted a search and informed me that approximately 1,300 kits have been collected and processed as evidence during the time frame requested. At this time all kits in our possession have been tested.

As far as the number of kits that have been processed by public or private crime labs, that information is not in the possession of the Worcester Police department. It may be better directed to the particular location or crime lab you are interested in.

We do not specifically maintain a list or document that includes the ultimate disposition of each and every case where a kit was collected and processed.

Respectfully,

Sergeant Michael Hanlon

_________________________________
April 21, 2017
Worcester Police Department
Worcester Police Department
Attn: Records Bureau
9-11 Lincoln Square
Worcester, MA 01608
To Whom It May Concern:
Pursuant to the Massachusetts Public Records Law, M.G.L. c.66, §10, 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.
I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as we believe this request is in the public interest, as suggested but not stipulated by the recommendations of the Massachusetts Supervisor of Public Records. The requested documents will be made available to the general public free of charge as part of the public information service at MuckRock.com, processed by a representative of the news media/press and is made in the process of news gathering and not for commercial usage.
I expect the request to be filled in an accessible format, including for screen readers, which provide text-to-speech for persons unable to read print. Files that are not accessible to screen readers include, for example, .pdf image files as well as physical documents.
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 10 business days, as the statute requires.
Sincerely,
Beryl Lipton
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Filed via MuckRock.com
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For mailed responses, please address (see note):
MuckRock
DEPT MR 36451
411A Highland Ave
Somerville, MA 02144-2516
PLEASE NOTE: This request was filed by a MuckRock staff reporter. Also note that improperly addressed (i.e., with the requester's name rather than "MuckRock News" and the department number) requests might be returned as undeliverable.
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