ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — New Mexico’s largest city has been awarded a $2.5 million federal grant to address a backlog in the processing of DNA evidence kits from sexual assaults.
Albuquerque officials announced the funds from the U.S. Justice Department during a news conference Monday.
New Mexico law enforcement agencies have been grappling with a backlog of thousands of untested evidence kits. A review in 2015 and 2016 by the Office of the State Auditor found there were 5,440 untested kits across the state, with nearly 75 percent of those in Albuquerque.
The city launched an initiative in 2016 to identify and locate untested evidence. Officials say 1,000 kits have been evaluated so far and 300 have been found viable for further testing.
Statewide, the Department of Public Safety is expected to clear its backlog in less than two years.