Sexual Assault Unit Assessments
The National Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) Training and Technical Assistance (TTA) Team is working with jurisdictions across the country to conduct Sexual Assault Unit (SAU) Assessments, which examine the processes and procedures in place for investigating and prosecuting sexual assault casesincluding the use of victim-centered and trauma-informed practices. These voluntary assessments are conducted in partnership with jurisdictions to provide an independent, comprehensive review of the sexual assault investigative processboth within and outside of the law enforcement domain.
The assessments have three components:
- A review of sexual assault policies and procedures;
- Interviews with staff, including supervisors within the SAU unit; and
- A systematic review of sexual assault investigative case files.
Following the systematic review, the SAU Team provides an in-person agency briefing and summary report that details the findings and recommendationsincluding linkages between identified needs and available resources and trainings.
The SAU Assessments are led by Dr. Kevin Strom and Ret. Detective Sergeant Jim Markey from RTI International and a team that includes subject matter experts in sexual assault investigations and victim advocacy. The team also leverages SAKI TTA experts in forensic nursing, forensic science, and prosecution.
SAU Assessment Reports
Fayetteville Police Department (North Carolina)
This report details the main findings and recommendations from the SAU Assessment for the Fayetteville Police Department (FPD), completed in December 2017. The report also identifies available resources and trainings to address specific needs. The FPD, which has been a SAKI site since fiscal year 2015, has been working with partners to aggressively pursue sexual assaultsincluding cold case sexual assaults associated with previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits.
Mobile Police Department (Alabama)
The Mobile Police Department (MPD) initially received SAKI funding in 2015 and has been working to address the issue of unsubmitted sexual assault kits while adopting a trauma-informed, victim-centered approach to their response to sexual assault reform within their jurisdiction. In 2018, MPD elected to participate in a sexual assault unit assessment to examine the impact of their operational and investigative practices for crimes of sexual violence. This report details the findings and recommendations from the 2018 SAU Assessment.
West Valley City Police Department (Utah)
West Valley City Police Department (Utah) participated in a SAU Assessment in 2018. This report highlights the efforts made by the agency to improve their response to sexual assault reform. This report also details the main findings, recommendations, and resources to help the West Valley City Police Department (WVCPD) in their response to sexual assault reform. The WVCPD is an agency part of the Commission of Criminal Justice (Salt Lake County)/Utah Department of Public Safety, which has been a SAKI site since fiscal year 2015. Law enforcement agencies working with this SAKI site are committed to solving cold case sexual assaults associated with previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits.
The SAKI TTA Team continues to work on additional SAU Assessments. As those are completed, final reports will be added to this page.