Retired Mesa master police officer Bill Richardson lives in the East Valley and can be reached at email@example.com.
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Hmmm, you claim to be a retired sex crimes detective and then claim to be SHOCKED at the number of untested rape kits.If you were a sex crimes detective I would think you would be VERY familiar with that lack of testing.People complaining about the failure to test the kits will scream bloody murder when told how much their taxes go up to pay for all the testing and to improve the local labs and hire people to get the testing done IMMEDIATELY ( which is what < should > happen ).I agree it is terrible for those kits to be untested --- but don't blame the police or the lab(s) because they can only do as much as the public is willing to fund.And, as everyone who has lived in Arizona for very long can attest --- Arizonans don't want to pay taxes to fund ANYTHING.
AZ Willie, this is not a funding issue. This is about taking the evidence to the lab, getting the evidence to the lab, getting in line at the lab. Funding is a problem at the lab and will effect when the testing takes place. But if the eveidence never gets in line, it never gets done. [smile]
huckleberry -- SOMEONE has to pay to have those kits tested.Are you telling me the police don't have to pay for it?Are you sure the kits DON'T get taken to the lab?Where, exactly, are all these kits stored?Probably in an evidence locker.But are they taken to the lab or just left to sit because the police don't have the funds to pay the lab?From what I understand ( could be wrong ) the labs are backed up with DNA test because they don't have enough facilities or technicians to handle them on a ' right now ' basis.There really isn't much point in the police taking kits to the labs when they know that the labs cannot process them and will not until someone pays for the testing.It is better they be secured in police custody where they can be protected and accounted for and tested if someone wants to pay.If a woman in my family were raped I know I would move heaven and hell to have the kit tested.I wouldn't hesitate a second to pay for it myself, and if I was poor I would borrow the money or sell the car -- whatever it took.Money IS an issue --- it always is, especially in public service.Republicans want to starve government and don't want to pay taxes and then complain when things like rape kits don't get processed.The old old saying is almost always true " You get what you pay for ".Until Arizonans are willing to pay the taxes to support a large enough lab to handle rape kits as they come in .. on a ' right now ' basis, those kits are going to remain untested.So many right wingers see reason why they should pay taxes to process someone else's rape kit.And then when it happens to one of theirs OH NO LETS RAISE HELL BECAUSE THE KITS AREN'T TESTED.
There's over $100 million dollars in the state RICO fund. There's more than enough money sitting in the bank that's available to pay for sexual assault kit examinations and DNA testing. As for Tempe's backlog, they had $258,000 to repaint all if the police cars black and white and now they're paying for new police patches and badges. What's more important, pretty police cars/patches/badges or putting rapists in jail? Police departments have always found the money for their pet projects. Unfortunately many of the pet projects have nothing to do with catching criminals and making the community safer.
OK, if all that money is indeed sitting there then you probably need to blame our Republican politicians for not passing whatever legislation is needed to transfer the money from the RICO fund to a fund to process not only rape kits but all kinds of evidence that doesn't get processed due to lack of funds / people to do the testing.They can certainly manage to sweep / steal money from all kinds of other funds into the State's General Fund so they can spend it on private prisons and other lobbiest's wet dreams.It would seem the Republican Legislators aren't particularly concerned, are they?And you say that Tempe spent all that money on ( frivolous ? ) painting of the cars and now badges ... well that sounds to me like a complaint about the Police Chief -- it's his job to prioritize spending. Apparently he isn't too worried about the rape kits. Vote him OUT.Same for any other police chief that you can prove has money sitting in the bank and doesn't get kits tested.I've always heard there is a large problem with not enough facilities and personnel to test the kits and other evidence anyway --- they have a huge backlog. Police want the kits tested but the lab just can't do it because they are so far behind.It would require a MAJOR investment to build facilities that could handle everything with no backlog and the Republican dominated Legislature says NO NO NO NO NO.
Hello Mr. Richardson,
Just finished reading your article about the rape kit backlog in your neck of the woods. I too am a retired detective (25 years with the NYPD, 17 of them investigating sex crimes.). Since my retirement, only a few months ago, I have teamed up with a wonderful and amazing young women and her organization to help eliminate the rape kit backlog nation wide. Please check us out at www.natashasjusticeproject.org and also on Facebook at Natasha's Justice Project. Maybe we can help each other out with this tragedy of justice. On the web site look at our Backlog Elimination Project Request for Proposal, maybe there is a jurisdiction by you that you can let them know about this.
Folks, I have asked Mr. Richardson (he being a Mesa retired Master Police Officer) to give the readers of the East Valley Tribune the number of Mesa's rapists that have been prosecuted in the past 10 yeas.
Mesa Rapes; 2002 = 129, 2003 = 116, 2004 =124, 2005 = 194, 2006 = 203, 2007 = 175, 2008 = 161, 2009 = 123, 2010 = 124 >>>>>>....10 year Total Number of Rapes committed within the Jurisdiction of the Mesa Police Department = 1,480.
Ex-Master Sergeant.....were all 1,480 rapes investigated and the rapist brought to justice........were there 1,000 rapes investigated and the rapists brought to justice....were there 800 rapes investigated and the rapists brought to justice....were there 500 rapes investigated and the rapists brought to justice....were there 250 rapes investigated and the rapists brought to justice ????
WERE THERE ANY OF THE 1,480 RAPISTS IN THE PAST 10 YEARS INVESTIGATED AND BROUGHT TO JUSTICE ???
YOU WERE A MASTER SERGEANT.....YOU SHOULD HAVE THESE STATISTICS AT YOUR FINGER TIPS.......WHY THE SILENCE, EX-MASTER SERGEANT......WHY THE SILENCE ??????
A true experienced police detective would surely realize that not ALL sexual assault kits can be sent to the lab for DNA testing. In fact, in accordance with established protocols, and State & Federal Statutes, a crime MUST first be clearly established pursuant to ARS Title #13 - before the DNA evidence can be submitted for testing. Cases which are unfounded, no crime established, e.g. consensual vs. non consensual, victim recants account, etc, can not be sent for testing as NO crime can be established. Similarly, there are Federal guidelines which clearly establish when DNA can be entered in to CODIS - which safeguards DNA from being entered into the system of a person whom may have in fact not committed a crime.
Also, "sex crime kits" are commonly used for more investigative purposes other than a sexual assault. In fact, any case in which a detective may wish to secure biological evidence, blood, hair, etc, he/she may wish to utilize this very kit to capture the evidence. Thus, the "sex assault kit" is impounded as evidence, however the actual case it was used for may contain evidence of a misdemeanor assault, child abuse, or a myriad of other crimes. The media inquiry failed to clearly distinguish ---- of the the number of cases NOT sent for testing, how may of the cases did not meet the established criteria, and/or did NOT involve a sexual assault?
Just saying BOYS, do some investigative fact finding and don't rely on the emotional, biased and tired work of a retired Mesa Police Master Officer - whom by the way has a significant hatred for some. Just saying BOYS............Luv ya PCSO 101
PCSO101-So is it wrong that the Pinal County Sheriff's Office, Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, Mesa PD, New York PD and Los Angeles test all of their sexual assault kits?
Master Officer Richardson, are you serious? MCSO failed to investigate over 400 sexual assault cases, and you you question the protocol of MCSO being wrong if testing all their cases....LOL! Really sir, you are truly not living up to your self proclaimed title of an esteemed Master Officer. I would encourage you to check your facts, and you will learn that Mesa, MCSO, PCSO in fact do not test ALL of their kits. If they did test ALL their kits, including those in which NO CRIME could be established, then yes, they would be WRONG, and in violation of various protocols and possibly State & Federal Law. By-Buy! Going to play for the weekend.
Here are the numbers. Read about PCSO, MCSO and MPD.
More good stuff from Mesa PD and what they're doing when it comes to fighting crime.
Lol.............billrichardson......you can run but you can't hide.
Just like I thought....you have access to all of the Mesa Police Department's Crime Statistics.
Just tell the good readers of the East Valley Tribune....of the 1,480 Rapes that were reported to the F.B.I. and the Arizona Department of Public Safety.......how many have been solved ?
Do I need to curl my poor arthritic fingers over the keyboard once again and type out the "Yearly Reported Violent Crime Statistics" for the years 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010....all over again for the 3rd or is it the 4th or the 5th time ???
SHOW US THE NUMBER OF RAPES THAT THE MESA POLICE DEPARTMENT HAVE SOLVED FOR THE ABOVE YEARS.
P.S.......NOT HAVING A BA OR BS AFTER MY NAME, MUCH LESS A MA OR A PHD THAT MANY OF THE LIBERAL COMMENTERS (THE ANONYMOUS ONES....LOL) CLAIM TO HAVE AND ONLY ONE SEMESTER OF HIGH SCHOOL STATISTICS AND ONE SEMESTER OF JUNIOR COLLEGE SATISTICS UNDER MY BELT.....I FIND IT STRANGELY ...."PECULIAR".....THAT MANY OF THE YEARLY REPORTED RAPE STATISTICS SHOW NUMBERS THAT ARE ALMOST........."IDENTICAL".
2002 = 1292003 = 1162004 = 1242009 = 1232010 = 131
NOW WHAT WOULD THE............STATISTICAL PROBABILTY.....BE THAT THESE FIVE YEARS WOULD ONLY BE A FEW RAPES CASES > DIFFERENT FROM THE YEAR BEFORE OR THE YEAR AFTER....ALMOST LIKE THE EXACT NUMBER OF RAPISTS WERE RUNNING AROUND MESA....YEAR AFTER YEAR AFTER YEAR..............MAYBE SOME ONE CAN ...........DO THE MATH !!!!
The police don't have the right to invade everyone. How many 'rape kits' are angry girlfriends? Policing has to involve a partnership, If we don't trust the police, they are essentially useless, and currently, with things like CODIS, they are essentially no one to trust. Technology does a lot, but the cop I know, who spends some time on my stoop, or my neighbors is worth a hundred times it. When you lose the fact that my gun will be joined by my neighborhood cops, you can't stop anything, and you're just a bunch of arrogant jerks who is as just as culpable as any rapist.
billrichardson - What do our Tempe elected officials have to say about this. Heads should roll at the Tempe PD, all the way to the top.
"Rich" can't be serious. Defending the police for this atrocity. AND carrying a gun. Sounds like HE belongs in jail.
I provided a copy of my column to the mayor and city council when it came out. As yet I haven't heard from them. I still haven't heard back from police chief Tom Ryff and city manager Charlie Meyer.
Rich,I hope you don't live in my neighborhood.You're saying that police should only investigate "legitimate" rapes?
I don't own a gun, it's called a metaphor, ask the English teacher columnist here if you don't know what that is. Let me explain it to you. In an armed society, police are useless and corrupt if the average man doesn't add his gun ( or force) to that of the police. Police work best, in fact only work minimally well, when supported by the public. When they go processing rape kits from your annoyed girl friend, who is now sorry, and you start getting police attention because of DNA you left in a cab in Miami, the girl never trusts the police again, and you don't either. And we are all a bit less safe.
"I can say I never met a rapist who’d only raped one woman one time."
I have. He lives in Scottsdale. He was 17 and had a 15 year old girlfriend.He was charged with rape and to this day has to register as a sex offender.
Oh and by the way, he has since married his "victim" and they have 3 beautiful children.
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