TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) — Following eight months of work, Baltimore County’s Sexual Assault Investigations Task Force released its final report reviewing current policies, outlining national practices and issuing recommendations to improve the system for investigating sexual assaults.
The Sexual Assault Investigations Task Force was charged with reviewing practices and procedures related to sexual assault investigations and prosecution of allegations of sexual assault in Baltimore County.
It was also charged with making recommendations to improve those practices. The Task Force report offers 23 recommendations for changes to policy and practices, including:
- Implementing a comprehensive sexual assault investigations policy to govern all sexual assault cases
- Developing and implementing a uniform and centralized records system for its sexual assault cases.
- Continuing efforts to expand support for rape kit testing
- Continuing to move towards a trauma-informed, victim-centered and offender-focused model of investigations.
- Working with victim advocacy organizations and other non-profits, including TurnAround, Inc., to create a standardized protocol process for engaging with victims.
- Establishing standard procedures for handling incidents of sexual assault on college campuses or involving victims associated with these institutions.
- Increasing staffing of the County’s Special Victims Unit to better manage the caseload and best serve victims.
- Performing an audit of 911 calls for service for incidents of sexual assault annually
- Reviewing all national best practice information provided by the Task Force and institute policies consistent with these best practices.
Baltimore County will use the results of the study to guide efforts to improve Baltimore County’s sexual assault investigations.