Senate Bill 63 Training Deadline Approaching
The deadline for law enforcement agencies to meet the mandatory training requirements outlined in Senate Bill 63 is fast approaching.
According to the bill, law enforcement agencies must have officers trained in Sexual Assault Investigations (2114-17JR) prior Jan. 1, 2019.
The requirements specify:
- agencies with five or fewer officers must have at least one officer trained in sexual-assault investigations;
- agencies with more than five officers but fewer than 30 must have at least two officers trained;
- agencies with 30 or more officers must have at least four officers trained.
Agencies not in compliance by Jan. 1, 2019 may lose KLEFPF funding.
The Department of Criminal Justice Training Commissioner Alex Payne stressed the importance of every agency to adhere to the deadline which is rapidly approaching.
“As a reminder, there are only nine classes left for the rest of 2018,” Payne said. “Make sure your agency has the required number of officers trained before the deadline arrives.”
The course will be offered at the following locations:
- Georgetown Police Department, July 23-27
- Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, Aug. 6-10
- Somerset, Aug. 13-17
- Louisville, Aug. 20-24
- Bowling Green, Aug. 27-31
- Elizabethtown Police Department, Sept. 10-14
- Boone County Sheriff’s Office, Sept. 24-28
- Barren River State Resort Park, Oct. 15-19
- Richmond, Nov. 5-9
Questions regarding training can be directed to John Schwartz, assistant director of training.
Senate Bill 63 came on the heels of an investigation into the backlog of untested rape kits in 2015 led to passage of the bill in 2017, after more than 3,000 untested kits were discovered and extensive efforts were made to ease the crisis.
SB 63 mandates that all Kentucky law enforcement agencies establish written policies and procedures for investigating sexual assault, as well as handling of the resulting evidence. The Department of Criminal Justice Training has been appointed by the Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet as the approving authority for these policies.
SB 63 outlined specific guidelines that each policy should include. These requirements are that:
- all evidence collected as a result of a sexual assault exam must be taken into custody by the investigating law enforcement agency within five days of notice from the hospital or facility that collected the evidence.
- any evidence received by an agency relating to an incident that occurred outside its jurisdiction must be transferred to a department within the appropriate jurisdiction within 10 days of evidence receipt.
- all evidence received by a law enforcement agency must be delivered to the Kentucky State Police crime lab within 30 days of receipt.
- any suspect standard DNA available also should be delivered to the KSP crime lab along with the sexual assault kit evidence.
- a process should be put in place for notifying the victim of their evidence testing’s progress, whether a DNA match was made and if the evidence is to be destroyed. A provision for delaying notice also can be made until a suspect is apprehended or the prosecuting commonwealth’s attorney consents to the notification.
At the time of Gov. Matt Bevin’s ceremonial signing of SB 63, Kentucky State Police Commissioner Rick Sanders lauded the efforts made to provide resources to the forensic lab and justice to sexual assault victims.
“Thanks to Sen. Harper Angel, champion behind SB 63, Sen. Westerfield, Gov. Bevin and the General Assembly, KSP is now getting much needed resources to eliminate the rape kit backlog and meet the growing demands of forensic testing,” Sanders said. “KSP is committed to utilizing all resources possible to assist victims of sexual assault crimes by bringing to justice those who commit these heinous acts.”
For more information, law enforcement executives can visit the DOCJT website. Several documents are available to assist with policy creation, along with Staff Services Planning and Communication Office contact information. A cover letter from DOCJT’s Assistant General Counsel, Deaidra Douglas, provides direction along with a link to SB 63, instructions for adopting a policy, a signature sheet for agency heads to sign verifying they approve their submitted policy and three, editable model policy samples.
“If you need assistance from DOCJT, please contact us and we’ll be glad to help,” Payne said.
Staff Services can be reached at DOCJT.ModelPolicy@ky.gov or (859) 622-5049.