* As of September 2016, the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office confirmed that the Cleveland Police Department had submitted 5,256 kits to the Bureau of Criminal Investigation for testing.
Starting in 2010, Cleveland implemented a "test everything" approach, sending all rape kits in law enforcement storage to the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) for testing, regardless of the outcome of the original investigation. Cuyahoga County, which includes the city of Cleveland, hired temporary employees to help with the procees of sending all untested evidence to BCI.
The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office formed a DNA Cold Case Task Force to handle investigations that arose from testing backlogged kits. The Task Force, which includes detectives, prosecutors, county and state investigators and advocates, also conducts victim notifications when there is a DNA match.
As of October 2016, the Bureau of Criminal Investigation has completed testing on 5,832 kits submitted by law enforcement agencies across Cuyahoga County, resulting in the identification of 386 potential serial offenders. Over 527 defendants have been indicted in Cuyahoga County as a result of the testing initiative.
In 2015, the U.S. Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Assistance awarded the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office $1,993,741 to address its backlog through testing kits, investigating and prosecuting cases and re-engaging survivors.
In addition to the backlogged rape kits, the Department also discovered 67 cartons with evidence that had been sent for testing in the mid-2000s. Officials are working to determine whether the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) fully tested all of that evidence before returning it to Cleveland.
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