Bill passes to streamline untested rape kit backlog

Lawton Public Safety building pictured above.
Lawton Public Safety building pictured above.(KSWO)
Published: May. 10, 2023 at 6:52 PM CDT
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LAWTON, Okla. (KSWO) - A bill meant to clear the backlog of untested rape kits in Oklahoma was recently signed into law, and will go into effect November 1.

According to Chris Blessing, the pubic information officer for the Lawton Police Department, when these kits are submitted the wait times can range anywhere from a couple days to over a year.

When people who are tested in Lawton ask LPD for answers, Blessing says clear communication between the victim and the department about the process is critical.

“We send them right to the state level, to get tested and processed so there is no backlog or stashed pile of them sitting around the Lawton Police Department. We send those off immediately,” said Blessing.

Blessing also hopes this new law will give more victims the closure they deserve quicker.