A new CNN investigation has revealed that several rape kits at dozens of police departments across the country have been either trashed or destroyed.
According to the investigation, that happened to at least 10 kits at the Lapeer Police Department.
Lapeer Police Chief David W. Frisch issued a statement saying:
“We acknowledge that in the past, some kits were destroyed before all possible legal steps had been exhausted and we apologize for this. That will no longer be the case. We view these issues as a high priority for our community and will be following the policies required by state law.”
Frisch said the destruction of the kits is not acceptable and will not ever happen again.
"The kits that were destroyed were from cases that were investigated dating from 2010 to 2014. After the conclusion of the investigative process into each of these cases there was a failure to retain the kits for any possible future legal proceedings that may develop," Frisch said.
He said he became aware of the destruction of the kids in September 2018. He said he updated the department's policies and procedures to prevent this from happening again.
"While no policy or procedural change can correct the errors of what was previously done, it can stop those errors from ever happening again," Frisch said.
Mary Engelman is executive director of the Michigan’s Women Commission, which deals with raising awareness of human trafficking and sexual assault in our state.
“You know, it’s just very upsetting. This is such an important area right now for the woman.”
While she says the investigation was frightening, she says it’s also a step toward identifying and preventing these problems in the future.
“You know, obviously, not all our police departments have this issue. And in Lapeer, they’re working really to make sure this issue never happens again. So, bringing awareness to issues sometimes, helps create a procedure that is excellent.”