by Tom Joyce
The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office (MCAO) announced that it would receive about $3 million in grants from the Department of Justice to help victims of crime.
One grant the office will receive will help the office in investigations where DNA is used to find perpetrators in cold cases where it cannot find the offender. Another grant will pertain to the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (often referred to as SAKI). It allows law enforcement to process rape kits quicker.
The DNA cold case grant will give MCAO more than $500,000 to pay for more DNA testing, create a countywide database of cold cases, hire a data analyst, and increase the resources available for prosecutors who specialize in cold case homicide investigations.
“This is the first time our office has been awarded this grant. Our goal is to increase the number of successful prosecutions of cold cases throughout our county and provide closure to the victims of violent crimes,” County Attorney Allister Adel said in a press release.
Meanwhile, the SAKI grant will be worth about $2.5 million. It will fund ongoing testing of sexual assault kits necessary to be submitted to further DNA testing. It will also provide funding to train law enforcement agencies in the area. And it will allow the attorney’s office to hire more detectives and crime analysts to assist law enforcement with investigating sexual assault crimes.
“These resources enable us to continue doing the work that we’ve been doing by assisting agencies that may not have the manpower or a specialized unit to investigate these crimes and will allow us to continue providing financial resources to ensure test are processed responsibly and in a timely manner,” Adel said.
The funding comes from the Bureau of Justice Assistance. It’s part of the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs.
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Tom Joyce is a contributor to The Center Square.
Photo “Phoenix, Arizona” by DPPed CC BY-SA 3.0.