SALT LAKE CITY – The Salt Lake City Police Department will receive a $270,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to test DNA evidence in cold case homicide and rape investigations.
According to a press release from SLCPD, the department is one of 25 law enforcement agencies nationwide that will share nearly $5 million in Department of Justice funds.
“These funds are part of a collaborative working agreement that will bring together investigators from the Homicide and Special Victim Squads, the Victims Advocate Unit, the private sector and the Salt Lake District Attorney’s Office to apply the latest science to homicide and forcible rape cold cases. We hope the DNA testing will develop new leads that, combined with evidence, help us bring violent offenders to justice,” Chief Chris Burbank said in a statement sent to FOX 13.
According to police, officers will spend the next several months developing a budget for the award. Police said the budget will also have to be approved by Salt Lake City’s amendment process before they can begin using it.
The department said it has several goals it hopes to accomplish with this new funding. Officers said they want to assess the police department’s homicide and forcible rape violent crime cold cases for the possible use of DNA analysis to solve cases. They said they hope to provide evidence collection and case packaging training for all police department personnel. Police also said they want to investigate and solve targeted cold cases, bringing a level of closure to victims, family and friends of unsolved violent crime homicides and forcible rapes.
The Salt Lake City Police Department reportedly submitted its proposal for the grant earlier this year to the Office of Justice Programs in the Department of Justice, and to the National Institute of Justice. Police said the National Institute of Justice requested applications from “states and units of local government for funding to identify, review and investigate ‘violent crime cold cases’ that have the potential to be solved using DNA analysis, and to locate and analyze the biological evidence associated with these cases.”