Saturday, February 18, 2012

Houston Police Department Rape Kit Examination Backlog Hits 6,600

Here is another story about the effects that the slow collapse of the tax base of state and local governments is having on public safety and law enforcement. Click2 has the rather scary details:
Since 2011, the Houston Police Department has faced mounting criticism over the thousands of untested rape kits sitting in evidence. Now, because of a recently completed audit, HPD knows exactly how big the problem is and just how much of a challenge the department still faces.

Last year, Local 2 Investigates was first to report on a massive back log of untested rape kits stored in the department's property room. These kits can contain vital pieces of evidence that can help catch and convict sexual predators and help rape survivors find justice.

Last year, HPD was one of only two police agencies in the country to be awarded a federal grant from the National Institute of Justice to conduct an audit as to exactly how many rape kits have been sitting in evidence untested. HPD officials told Local 2 that audit is complete.

HPD reported, as of Dec. 1, there are 6,663 untested rape kits stored in evidence. HPD officials said some of the untested kits date back to the 1980s.

"Rape kits have to be a No. 1 priority," said Ray Hunt, president of the Houston Police Officers Union. "These kits have to be tested and they have to be tested quickly."
So how many other jurisdictions do you suppose are having this problem but haven't received federal grant money to do what they should be doing anyway...figuring out how big a problem they have?

As with so many other bad things happening in our economy these days, it all points back to declining revenues:
However, HPD officials said one of the biggest challenges will be finding the resources to tackle the backlog while at the same time handling an average of 930 new rape kits submitted to the department each year.
I'm sure the victims of these henious crimes will find plenty of cold comfort in that last statement.


  1. Good Grief, Bill - this one just makes me too angry for words...

  2. If I were a women and heard this truly frightening bit of news, I would start carryng a hand grenade for protection. That figure is truly bad and scary.

    1. Funny how so many people get themselves worked into a lather about the latest dumb pronouncement from the likes of Rick Santorum while the real threats remain largely hidden due to media disintrest.

  3. I have to second what starskeptic wrote. This is appalling and disgusting. This is one of the most egregious examples of dereliction of duty I've ever even heard of. What a disgrace, may they live in shame.

  4. welcome to THE USSA

    if i was a woman and i lived in texas..... I would move out.

    I wonder what the statistics are for other states..and the actual picture of it around the whole country?

    appalling. disgusting. and EMBARRASSING...

  5. Number of rape kits estimated to be untested nationwide: 180,000(as of Sept., 2011)

    1. Yikes! The problem is MUCH worse than I imagined. :(

  6. But we have a 350 million dollar fighter that costs 47,000 in maintenance costs for every flight hour.

    20 yrs ago, probation officers in the Twin Cities area had caseloads of 250 to 300.

    I could go on for a long time but no sense. I think it's called priorities.