Omaha police get $1.9M grant to test sex assault kit backlog

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — An estimated 1,500 sexual assault kits booked into evidence at the Omaha Police Department remain untested, but a $1.9 million federal grant aims to help clear the backlog.

The new grant funding from the national Sexual Assault Kit Initiative will allow the Nebraska State Patrol crime lab to test the kits, starting this January.

Omaha police are currently determining which kits haven’t been tested from 1998 through 2017. Officials blame the backlog on factors including outdated best practices, victims who couldn’t be located and questions about consent.

The initiative also aims to help law enforcement and support groups work together to add information to state and federal DNA databases, make arrests and offer support to rape survivors.

Omaha police and the county attorney’s office will use the money to hire additional staff for the cases.

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