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$1.9 million on way to L.A. County sheriff

Grants will help to clear backlog of untested rape kits

Posted: October 20, 2009 10:12 p.m.
Updated: October 21, 2009 9:00 a.m.
 
More than $1.9 million in federal grant money, approved by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, will help the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department test rape kits, combat piracy and track gangs countywide.

"These grants will help us solve crimes," said department spokesman Steve Whitmore.

The sheriff's department will receive $1.4 million from the U.S. Department of Justice to clear a backlog of untested rape kits in Los Angeles County.

The sheriff's department was criticized in 2008 for the backlog and this funding is part of Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca's plan to examine all the untested kits, Whitmore said.

The Board of Supervisors also approved a $200,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to battle piracy and counterfeiting.

The grant will help law enforcement combat those who deal in knock-off purses, pirated DVDs and other types of counterfeit merchandise, Whitmore said.

The board also approved a $335,000 grant from the U.S. DOJ to purchase an automated license plate recognition camera system for the sheriff department's Advanced Surveillance and Protection Project.

The grant is broken into two parts, the first of which will equip six patrol cars, including one in the Santa Clarita Valley, with a camera system.

Additionally, $300,000 of the grant will be used to upgrade the gang database to allow for greater information sharing among 46 law enforcement agencies.

"Once again, the grant allows us to gather information critical to fighting crime," he said.

bcharles@the-signal.com

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