Southwest Michigan

Michigan expands online rape kit tracking

MARSHALL, Mich. (WOOD) — Sexual assault survivors in nine southwest Michigan counties can now track their test kit online through every step of the investigation. 

Gov. Rick Snyder announced Wednesday that the Track-Kit pilot program rolled out in Calhoun County earlier this year has now expanded to eight other Southwest Michigan counties: Allegan, Barry, Berrien, Branch, Cass, Kalamazoo, St. Joseph and Van Buren.

The online tracking system was a recommendation from a commission Snyder created after more than 11,000 untested rape kits were found in an abandoned Detroit police facility. Similar situations were discovered elsewhere in Michigan and nationwide.

“They can assure themselves, at any time, day or night, that their kit has not been forgotten or lost," stated Debi Cain, director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Division of Victim Services.

The system allows sexual assault survivors to log in confidentially and see how far along their kit is in the process. Visitors can also sign up for email alerts about their kit and find local, state and national resources on the site.

>>Video: Track-Kit program explained

A division of the Michigan State Police are overseeing the system and MDHHS' Division of Victim Services will be responsible for audits. The price tag is approximately $700,000 a year.

Officials plan to roll out Track-Kit to West Michigan counties north of the current coverage area next.

The online system is expected to available statewide by the summer of 2019.

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Online: 

Michigan resources for sexual assault and abuse survivors
 


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