FDLE: Sexual Assault Kit tracking now available statewide
Press release from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) Commissioner Mark Glass announced that FL Track-Kit, a sexual assault kit tracking database, is now available to survivors throughout Florida, more than two months ahead of the July 1, 2023 deadline.
Based on a law passed in 2021, FDLE implemented a statewide web-based tracking system that allows survivors to monitor the location and processing of their barcoded sexual assault kits (SAK). Survivors may also elect to be notified if a DNA match to an alleged perpetrator occurs.
Gail’s Law (HB 673), passed in 2021, gave survivors the power to access information about the status of their kits, building upon previous requirements (F.S. 943.326) for law enforcement to submit SAKs from reporting survivors to crime labs within 30 days, and created a 120-day mandatory turnaround time for testing.
Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Núñez said, “Victims of sexual assault deserve transparency and accountability as we pursue justice for the heinous crimes committed against them. Governor DeSantis signed Gail’s Law in 2021, and we commend Commissioner Glass and FDLE for implementing the tracking program two months ahead of schedule.”
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “We’ve come a long way since Florida eliminated the backlog of untested sexual assault kits in 2019—now a program allowing survivors of sexual assault throughout the state to keep track of the evidence in their cases is live more than two months ahead of schedule! This is a monumental achievement that will help survivors of assault feel more in control of their evidence while law enforcement and prosecutors pursue justice.”
CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “Thank you to Commissioner Glass and the entire team at FDLE for their hard work to support and protect survivors of sexual assault and help bring perpetrators to justice. This new database will go a long way in giving survivors more transparency and law enforcement the information they need to stop predators in Florida.”
Commissioner of Agriculture Wilton Simpson said, “We must do all we can as a state to support victims and see their perpetrators brought to swift justice. As Senate President, I was proud to support funding for this important initiative, and now as a member of Florida’s Cabinet, I am very pleased to see it being implemented statewide.”
FDLE Commissioner Mark Glass said, “Thank you to our FDLE lab analysts for their dedication to sexual assault kit tracking, ensuring all survivors have the information they deserve. This is an accomplishment that will help survivors of sexual assault for years to come. I am grateful to Senator Stewart and Gail Gardner for their leadership in making this a reality.”
Senator Linda Stewart said, “It was a privilege to sponsor this incredibly important legislation and work with Gail on this monumental achievement. I am so thrilled to see the tracking system operating at full capacity, and I thank FDLE for their swift implementation of the new system. Modernizing our state’s SAK tracking has been a long process, but we have finally completed this major step in placing power back in the hands of survivors.”
Advocate Gail Gardner said, “’What goes on in the house, stays in the house’ is no longer an option when it comes to abuse. This tracking system will not only help survivors but also protect the innocent.”
The program began as a pilot project in June 2022 in northeast Florida. In October 2022, the program expanded throughout North Florida and parts of Central Florida. As of April 25, 2023, law enforcement agencies, medical facilities that collect SAKs, and crime laboratories throughout the entire state have received training and the opportunity to create portal sites specific to their roles.
The chain of custody of all evidence submitted to crime laboratories is still maintained by their Laboratory Information Management Systems. The Track-Kit database is a service for survivors. If survivors have questions regarding information outside of the tracking database, they should contact the local law enforcement agency investigating their case.