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MPD fixing troubles in Sex Crimes Bureau – but not the ‘bid system’

Critics say labor union contract often keeps MPD from staffing the best-qualified detectives

By , Special to the Daily Memphian Updated: August 04, 2020 5:47 AM CT | Published: August 04, 2020 5:47 AM CT

This week, the Institute for Public Service Reporting at The University of Memphis, in partnership with The Daily Memphian, reveals the results of its exclusive investigation into how more than 12,000 rape kits went untested and the impact that backlog has had on victims. 

When the Memphis Police Department confirmed in 2013 the discovery of an estimated 12,000 older rape kits, many never tested for DNA, Susanna Parkinson refused to refer to the long-ignored evidence as a “backlog.” Instead, Parkinson, who worked closely with MPD as a longtime sexual assault intervention specialist and victim advocate at the Rape Crisis Center, called it “The Mess” — a collection of haphazardly stored and discarded evidence, poor decisions, missed chances and even wanton indifference to sexual assault. 

Topics

Memphis Police Department rape kit testing sex crimes unit sex crimes bureau bid system Memphis Police Association Joanne Archambault Shelby County Crime Victims & Rape Crisis Center
Marc Perrusquia

Marc Perrusquia

Marc Perrusquia is the director of the Institute for Public Service Reporting at the University of Memphis, where graduate students learn investigative and explanatory journalism skills working alongside professionals. He's won numerous state and national awards for government watchdog, social justice and  political reporting. Follow the Institute on Facebook or Twitter @psr_memphis.


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