Police in Pennsylvania widely ignored rape kit backlog mandate

Written by The Associated Press | May 10, 2016 4:11 AM

FILE PHOTO: In a Feb. 17, 2016 photo, the Idaho State Police Forensic Services lab tests for DNA samples. (Idaho Press-Tribune via Idaho State Police via AP)

(Harrisburg) -- Officials are trying to determine why about two-thirds of Pennsylvania's roughly 1,000 police agencies didn't comply with a mandate to tell the state Health Department how many untested rape kits are in their possession.

The Health Department said a week ago that 332 police agencies reported having just over 1,850 untested rape kits as of the end of last year.

Physician General Rachel Levine says the state law requiring the reports doesn't penalize police agencies that don't comply.

She says the figures were collected after working with several organizations to alert police about the process and that work on getting accurate numbers is continuing.

A spokesman for the state association of police chiefs says making departments aware of new reporting requirements can be challenging.

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