Springfield City Council to Consider Fully Funding Testing for Sexual Assault Test Kit Backlog

Springfield City Council will be taking up a measure that would fund the testing of all remaining sexual assault test kits in the police department’s storage.

The department initially had 231 backlogged kits that were entered into an agreement with the state attorney general to be tested as grant funding was made available. The ordinance by the city would pay $120,000 to cover the cost of the 119 kits that remain untested from that agreement.

“We’re thankful that council is considering providing additional funding to test the remaining sexual assault kits,” SPD Major Tad Peters told KWTO. “If the measure is passed, it would allow us to completely eliminate the backlog of untested kits and help victims of sexual assault seek justice.” 

The recommendation to Council to amend the city’s 2020-2021 General Budget came from Springfield Police Chief Paul Williams and the police department.

The ordinance, sponsored by Hosmer, McGull, Fisk, Ferguson, Schilling, and McClure, was filed Tuesday and is the last scheduled First Reading bill on Monday’s City Council meeting agenda.

“This is wonderful news and I know that while so many other things have been in our daily news cycle and focus like the COVID pandemic, this need has not been forgotten by our city leaders. I’m thankful for them and this being a priority to address,” Janice Thompson, a member of the city’s recent Sexual Assault Task Force, told KWTO.

Here is the proposed ordinance:

Funding-for-sexual-assault-kits

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