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Protecting Utah

SAKI Team Honored by NAACP Salt Lake Branch

Monday January 21, 2019
Members of the DPS SAKI Team appear with other honorees at the NAACP Salt Lake branch's luncheon.

At a luncheon held by the NAACP’s Salt Lake Branch, members of the DPS Sexual Assault Kit Initiative team – Victim Advocate Lauren DeVries and Investigators Steve O’Camb and Derek Coats – were honored for their efforts and accomplishments in 2018.

Funding through the National Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) was awarded to assist in improving overall responses to sexual assault, furthering efforts to establish victim-centered and trauma-informed best practices, increasing multi-disciplinary collaboration, increasing training opportunities for all professionals working with victims of sexual assault, and increasing transparency throughout the criminal justice system.

Since this program began, the SAKI team has contacted, collaborated, and trained with nearly every police agency in Utah, the State Crime Lab, Peace Office Standards and Training, the Bureau of Criminal Identification and many other community partners in an ongoing effort to ensure the complete and thorough investigation of cold case sexual assaults.

Some of the SAKI team’s major accomplishments in 2018 include the review of 168 cases with the SAKI multi-disciplinary team, assistance with numerous case investigations which have results in 21 felony case filings, providing specialized training to over a thousand people from more than 100 different agencies, more than 20 in-person victim notifications, assistance to more than 30 SAKI Victim Information Line callers and the approval of 14 applications to the SAKI Therapeutic Fund.

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