In 2009, Human Rights Watch uncovered more than 12,500 untested rape kits sitting in police storage facilities in the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, and 47 independent police departments in Los Angeles County. The city of Los Angeles held 6,132 of those untested kits.
The city convened a DNA task force to research the causes of the backlog and to develop a plan for eliminating it. Team members included law enforcement, prosecutors, defense attorneys, crime lab officials, government officials and advocates.
LAPD cleared its backlog in April 2011, using several million dollars in federal grant money, public funds and private donations to cover the cost of both testing in-house and outsourcing to private crime labs. City Council also set aside funds to add more analysts to LAPD’s crime lab staff. Policies now in place require the testing of every kit booked into police evidence.
Learn more about Los Angeles's reforms and read about its efforts in the media here.