MCAO gets about $3M in federal funding for cold case homicides, rape kit processing

Feb 2, 2022, 4:15 AM
(Pixabay Photo)...
(Pixabay Photo)
(Pixabay Photo)

PHOENIX — The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office announced Monday it has received two federal grants worth approximately $3 million to help solve cold case homicides and process sexual assault rape kits in a timely fashion.

A nearly $2.5 million grant involves the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative and will provide the county attorney’s office with funding for several initiatives, according to a press release, including continued support of ongoing testing for sexual assault kits that need to be submitted for further DNA testing and additional money for training of Valley law enforcement agencies.

The funding will also allow more detectives and crime analysts be hired to assist law enforcement with prosecutions and investigations.

“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 tests are processed responsibly and in a timely manner,” County Attorney Allister Adel said in the release.

A separate $500,000 grant will help advance investigations that use DNA to find criminals in a case that has gone cold by paying for additional testing, creating a countywide database of cold cases and allowing for the hire of a data analyst, the county said in the release.

“This is the first time our office has been awarded this grant,” Adel said. “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.”

The county attorney’s office said the funding was awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, which is a part of the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs that also includes a variety of federal justice agencies.

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MCAO gets about $3M in federal funding for cold case homicides, rape kit processing