Police department awarded $1 million to investigate cold sexual assault cases

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The Akron Police Department has been awarded $1 million to investigate unsolved sexual assault cases.

The U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs awarded the city a 3-year Sexual Assault Kit Initiative grant.

The grant is meant to develop a multi-disciplinary team trained that will review, prioritize, investigate, and prosecute sexual assault cold cases, according to a statement by the City of Akron.

The grant will fund personnel, a case management system, designed for cold case SAK investigations and technology and supplies to increase the efficiency of investigations, according to the statement.

“The Akron Police Department is thrilled to receive this grant. The process was very competitive.  Our selection represents an organizational goal of providing the very best services for crime victims and our community.  There are still challenges ahead, but this is a very positive step toward securing justice in these cases,” said Akron Police Chief Kenneth Ball.

Currently, the department doesn’t have adequate staffing to support a comprehensive response to cold case sexual assault cases.

Starting in 2012, the police department has been assessing every sexual assault kit collected since 1993 in order to submit or re-submit the kits for DNA testing under the 2011 Ohio Attorney General Sexual Assault Kit (SAK) Testing Initiative.

All SAKs in APD’s inventory were submitted and returned.

For more information about the grant, contact Capt. Jesse Leeser at jleeser@akronohio.gov or 330-375-2490.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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