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Minnesota receives $2 million grant for sexual assault kit testing, investigation

(FOX47) -- Minnesota has been awarded a $2 million grant to help address sexual assault kit testing, victim advocacy and investigation.

According to a news release from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative grant was awarded by the Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance to the Department of Public Safety Office of Justice Programs.

The DPS said a 2015 inventory found 3,482 sexual assault kits at local law enforcement agencies throughout Minnesota that had not been submitted for testing.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension will reportedly receive more than $1.3 million to test kits. The remainder of the grant will be distributed amongst the Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault, the Anoka County Sheriff's Office, the Alexandra House and the Office of Justice Programs.

“The Office of Justice Programs is proud to work with our project partners to find ways to streamline kit submissions, improve sexual assault investigations and provide support to victims across Minnesota,” said the DPS Office of Justice Programs Executive Director Kate Weeks. “Learning from this process, we will move toward improved policies and practices for responding to sexual assault incidents.”

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