|Wednesday, December 01, 2010 – John Patti|
|The results of an audit ordered by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake following the discovery of a high number of unfounded rape cases in June 2010 have been released.
The mayor says she was deeply troubled to learn about the high number of unfounded rape complaints and the decline in reported rapes over the past decade.
Following the discovery in June and a review of police training and investigative practices, the mayor says several reforms to the way sexual assault cases are investigated have been implemented.
Patrol officers may no longer unilaterally “unfound” reports of sexual assault. And no sex offense complaints may be unfounded without approval of an immediate supervisor and the Unit Commander. All sex offense complaints must be referred to the Sex Offense Unit, and a report must be written. A new commander has also been appointed to lead the Sex Offense Unit.
The audit finds that since the implementation of the new reforms in July the Baltimore Police Department has experienced an 84% decrease in unfounded rape and attempted rape cases, a 67% decrease in unfounded sex offense cases, and a 15% increase in reported rapes and attempted rapes as compared to the first six months of this year.
The mayor says “I’m very hopeful that this audit review and implementation of best practices has forever changed and improved the way sexual assault cases are investigated in Baltimore, ensuring that all victims of sexual assault have their complaints investigated fully and are treated with dignity and respect.”