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Forensic Technology Center of Excellence Promotes Awareness in the Sexual Assault Response Community

NCJ Number
Techbeat Dated: July/August 2015 Pages: 3-8
Date Published
August 2015
6 pages
"Forensic Technology Center of Excellence Promotes Awareness in the Sexual Assault Response Community " reports on a project by the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence that focused on systemic challenges that impede the investigation of criminal sexual assaults in the United States. "Resources on Body-Worn Cameras" reports on an assessment of the advantages and disadvantages of body-worn cameras for law enforcement officers conducted by the Department of Homeland Security's SAVER (System Assessment and Validation for Emergency Responders) program. "Virginia Evaluates Threat Assessment Processes" reviews the report entitled "Threat Assessment in Virginia Schools: Technical Report of the Threat Assessment Survey for 2013-2014," which was funded by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ). This research is based on data from a school safety survey conducted annually by the Virginia Center for School and Campus Safety. "Mobile ID Fingerprint Technology Can Provide Rapid Results and Improve Officer Safety" reports on the features and benefits of officers in the field having mobile fingerprint devices that collect fingerprints of persons in the field and check them against State and Federal databases in under a minute. This issue also contains a technology news summary.

Study goals were to create an awareness of resources and to ensure that existing research, information, knowledge, and best practices are accessible to all practitioners involved in the response to and investigation of sexual assault. Four recommendations are offered based on the study, along with suggested strategies for implementing the recommendations. First, create awareness among sexual assault team members of the availability of evidence-based best practices for use in guidelines. One important practice mentioned from the study is the development of Y-STR research that concludes viable DNA evidence can be collected possibly as long as 10 days after the sexual assault occurred. Second, provide a system of communication, collaboration, education, and knowledge transfer that can be maintained and updated. Third, develop evidence-based best practices for the collection and processing of sexual assault forensic evidence. Fourth, provide outreach and resources for the development of policies that will maintain high-quality performance over time.

Date Published: August 1, 2015