CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The North Carolina Department of Justice (DOJ) announced 15,160 sexual assault evidence kits in the possession of police departments remain untested throughout the state.
North Carolina DOJ released the number as part of a first-of-its-kind report, surveying the number of untested kits among every law enforcement agency in the state.
Among the agencies that responded, the majority of them had untested kits.
Dr. Norman Spencer is the sexual trauma resource center volunteer coordinator for SAFE Alliance in Charlotte, and he said the high number of untested kits isn't surprising.
"It's good that we actually know where the baseline is, for the most part," Dr. Spencer said. "So we can start getting those kits tested, and start getting people off the streets that are not supposed to be there."
Dr. Spencer cautioned testing every kit is just one part of addressing the problem of sexual assaults.
"The other parts are going to be the emotional impact, the societal impacts and in many cases, financial impacts," Dr. Spencer said.
North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein included a list recommendations in the report, including examining all untested kits, creating a statewide tracking system and forming a committee to help develop testing protocols for future kits.