After reviewing the Baltimore County Police Department’s retention policy for rape kit retention periods, Chief Jim Johnson has revised the existing policy.
Sexual Assault Forensic Examination (SAFE) Kit evidence for second-degree rape and second degree sexual assault crimes will now be kept indefinitely. It is already the policy for first-degree rape and first degree sexual assault SAFE Exam Kit evidence to be held indefinitely, and that policy remains the same.
Chief Johnson began his review last fall following a request by County Executive Kevin Kamenetz in response to criticism over the way some Maryland police departments handle rape cases.
In making the change, Chief Johnson cited new technology in SAFE examination kits that includes smaller kit size and no need for refrigeration, which makes their retention more manageable.
In addition, Chief Johnson stated, “The important thing is to be sensitive to the victim. Longer retention periods for rape kits allow victims in these very personal crimes time to heal and make the right decision for themselves regarding prosecution.”
Kamenetz Supports Uniform Guidelines on Rape Kits
Also today, County Executive Kamenetz announced support for Attorney General Brian Frosh's call for uniform guidelines in handling rape kits.