Jay Inslee’s administration is already reeling from scandals and controversy billowing out of the Department of Corrections and the Department of Transportation, and now as we end 2015, it appears the “green” governor may have another one coming out of State Patrol.
The Patrol was already in the news week for the high turnover and low morale among officers, and now the Yakima Herald reports that “unless additional funding can be found, managers at the Washington State Patrol crime labs say they won’t be able to make a dent in a backlog of thousands of untested rape kits.”
Untested rape kits have “delayed some sexual-assault trials”, but fortunately “the crime labs have cooperated by speeding up tests when results were urgently needed.”
Testing the kits is crucial for law enforcement, said Yakima police Capt. Jeff Schneider, because “an unknown suspect can become a known suspect after the test is completed.”
It appears the main problem is one of allocating resources by State Patrol management. The legislature gave the Patrol an extra $2.75 million in the current budget to handle the increase in rape kits turned in due to changes in state laws. However, the Patrol had asked for twice that amount.
We can anticipate more coverage of this situation in the new year, as the patrol is asked what it is spending money on that is more important than processing the rape kits.
Scott Wilson says
Why is the State Patrol even doing this? Give it to the counties where the crime was commited.
John Keith says
Crime labs are expensive to operate and are often backlogged, despite what TV crime dramas show. Also, crime labs must be certified, which adds to the complications for smaller jurisdictions. The crime lab belongs in state government, but it obviously needs better management and oversight.
David Anfinrud says
That is where the money went. More oversight. and oversight on the oversight. Have to have those oversight people more important than rape kits being processed.
Wanna RAISE some SHORT FALL $$$$ NEEDED ???? FORCE A FLAT 10% Salary DECREASE IN ALLL…AS IN… EVERY..WA. STATE, CITY, COUNTY GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE’S MONTHLY
INCOME CHECK>>UNTIL SUCH TIME AS ALL SHORT FALL FUNDS ARE PROVIDED..
TV crime dramas is all they are. They have less than 30 minutes to catch the UNSUB. Counties need to do these things, not the WaSP. They do not need a host of things, because all of these crime testings need to be done close to the crime. This is where the Coroners’ office can come in. They have all the machinery to solve a lot of these crimes.
Clay Fitzgerald says
To some extent that may be true in King, Snohomish, Pierce, Clark and Spokane counties. Have you ever been to Garfield County? The populations is about 2,200; the county seat is Pomeroy, where slightly more than half of the county residents live. Don’t think there’s enough justification or county revenue to support a crime lab there. There are a lot of other rural counties that fit that description, too.
See where they are wanting interns!
Rob Leach says
Yet there always seems to be money to pay for all the Welfare programs to pay people to keep voting democrat!!!!!
Brett r says
If he was a Republican the headline would read. War on women continues as Inslee disregards rape in Washington.
WSP has a a huge budget….they need to prioritize……..They wanted the work and guarded this rice bowl…..they need to reduce elsewhere and get the labs up to speed.
Nothing to see here. Move it along.