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25 law enforcement agencies nationwide share nearly $5M in DOJ funds

SALT LAKE CITY — Of nearly $5 million in grant funds awarded to 25 law enforcement agencies nationwide by the U.S. Department of Justice, the Salt Lake City Police Department will receive $270,000 to test DNA evidence in cold case investigations.

“These funds are part of a collaborative working agreement that will bring together investigators from the Homicide and Special Victim Squads, the Victims Advocate Unit, the private sector, and the Salt Lake District Attorney’s Office to apply the latest science to homicide and forcible rape cold cases,” said Chief Chris Burbank. “We hope the DNA testing will develop new leads that, combined with other evidence, help us bring violent offenders to justice.”

SLCPD submitted its proposal, SLCPD Solving Homicide and Forcible Rape Cold Cases with DNA, earlier this year to the DOJ’s Office of Justice Programs and the National Institute of Justice (NIJ). Known as the “Solving Cold Cases with DNA” program, the NIJ sought applications from “states and units of local government for funding to identify, review, and investigate ‘violent crime cold cases’ that have the potential to be solved using DNA analysis, and to locate and analyze the biological evidence associated with these cases.” Read more here.

SLCPD will spend the next several months working through a revised budget for the award, which must also make its way through Salt Lake City’s budget amendment process, before drawing on the funds.

As stated in its grant application, the police department has four goals for the cooperative agreement award:

  • assess the police department’s UCR Part 1 homicide and forcible rape violent crime cold cases for the possibility of using DNA analysis to solve the case;
  • provide evidence collection and case packaging training for police department personnel;
  • investigate and solve targeted cold cases;
  • and bring a level of closure to victims, family and friends of unsolved violent crime homicides and forcible rapes.

To view the award, visit: