Albuquerque is one of the cities where we are using public records requests to uncover the number of untested rape kits in police storage as part of The Accountability Project. Through our efforts, we learned that, as of March 2015, Albuquerque Police Department (APD) reported 835 untested rape kits in storage. This number was verified by a KOAT news investigation, which reported that APD had collected 1,182 rape kits between 2007 and 2015, but only submitted 347 for testing, leaving 835 untested kits. To learn more about our process, click here.
In 2016, the State Auditor released a statewide audit report finding 3,948 untested rape kits in Albuquerque.
In 2017, the Albuquerque City Council introduced a resolution that would requre APD to submit all newly collected kits to a crime lab within 10 business days, and would require labs to tested kits within 3 months of receipt. If APD is unable to meet these deadlines, the Chief of Police must contract with outside laboratories for analysis. The resolution also requires the Chief of Police to report annually regarding the number of rape kits collected, the number of rape kits awaiting submission or testing, and the average number of days between kit submission and testing.
Right now, we do not know the full extent of the national rape kit backlog because few states require law enforcement agencies to count, track, or test rape kits. The Accountability Project aims to bring greater transparency and accountability to rape kit testing practices across the country.
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