As part of the SAFE Kits Initiative, untested sexual assault kits were gathered at the Blue Springs Police Department and shipped to the lab to be tested on Friday.
“Collecting these untested sexual assault kits through regional shipping events with law enforcement partners is crucial to the success of the SAFE Kit Initiative. I want to thank Chief Muenz and the Blue Springs Police Department for being a host agency and helping with this crucial push to get these kits tested,” said Attorney General Schmitt.
"The members of the Blue Springs Police Department recognize the importance of the SAFE Kit Initiative and we are proud to provide the space and logistics to facilitate this collection event,” said Blues Springs Police Department Chief Bob Muenz.
108 kits were collected from 13 department from Jackson County and surrounding communities. Departments included Johnson County Sheriff, Pettis County Sheriff, Lafayette County Sheriff, Gladstone PD, Kearney PD, Smithville PD, Sugar Creek PD, Raytown PD, Holden PD, Higginsville PD, Odessa PD, Grain Valley PD and kits from host agency Blue Springs PD.
In addition to Friday’s event, shipping events have been held in Clayton, Independence, O’Fallon, Lee's Summit, Grandview, Springfield, Columbia, St. Joseph, and Joplin, as well as the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Camden County Sheriff's Office, the Cass County Sheriff's Office, the New Madrid County Sheriff's Office, and the St. Francois County Sheriff's Office.
Since the first shipping event, held at the Springfield Police Department in December of 2019, over 1,300 untested sexual assault kits that were identified in the SAFE Kit Initiative inventory have been shipped to the private lab in Virginia to be tested.
Regional shipping events will continue in the future as the Attorney General's Office continues to work to gather and ship backlogged untested sexual assault kits to the lab for testing.
The SAFE Kits Initiative, funded by a grant administered by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, was launched by Attorney General Schmitt in January of 2019 to inventory all untested sexual assault kits in the backlog, create an electronic tracking system, and send those identified kits to a lab for forensic testing and potentially eventual prosecution.