BOSTON—The Baker-Polito Administration today announced that the Commonwealth’s sexual assault evidence collection kit (SAECK) tracking system has been successfully launched in six Massachusetts counties, with a second regional launch next week and the state fully covered by March. State officials provided an overview of the tracking system and its ongoing rollout today at a meeting of the Governor’s Council to Address Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence, chaired by Lt. Governor Karyn Polito.
“This comprehensive tracking system is an important advancement in services that Massachusetts can now provide to survivors of sexual assault and the network of public health and public safety agencies that support them,” said Governor Charlie Governor Baker. “This tracking system is the product of incredible teamwork between the medical community, law enforcement agencies and survivor advocates and we are hopeful this tool will make a meaningful difference.”
“Since taking office, our administration has been committed to providing resources and support for survivors through the Governor’s Council to Address Sexual Assault and Domestic violence,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “For survivors facing a traumatic experience in the wake of a sexual assault, this new tracking system offers timely access to meaningful, reliable and helpful information.”
Known as Track-Kit, the confidential, mobile-friendly, web-based tracking system allows survivors to follow an evidence kit from the point of collection through the testing process. The system also makes tracking information available to the medical personnel, investigators, crime labs and prosecutors responsible for each kit along the way. It went live Jan. 6 in southeastern Massachusetts and will be rolled out in central and western Massachusetts next week after authorities monitor its initial progress.
In addition to providing kit tracking information for every SAECK administered after the regional launch date, Track-Kit also provides survivors with local rape crisis center resources; specific contact information at the hospital, police department and district attorney’s office involved in their case; and 24-hour access to technical tracking system support should they need it.
In preparation for this first phase of statewide implementation, the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS) and the Executive Office of Technology Services and Security (EOTSS) provided training for personnel from the State Police Crime Laboratory and stakeholder agencies. Those agencies include 23 medical facilities, 112 police departments, and four district attorneys’ offices serving Region A – Barnstable, Bristol, Dukes, Nantucket, Norfolk and Plymouth counties. The system is expected to go live in Region B (Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire and Worcester counties) on Feb. 3, followed by Region C (Essex, Middlesex and Suffolk counties) a few weeks later, with trainings for stakeholder agencies in each region.
“By providing accurate information at every stage of the process, Massachusetts’ kit tracking system is delivering transparency to survivors and enhancing efficiency for stakeholder agencies,” said Secretary of Public Safety and Security Thomas A. Turco. “This is a major development for anyone concerned with victim advocacy, services and support.”
“We appreciate the opportunity to collaborate with stakeholders in the public health, public safety, and survivor community to implement a SAECK tracking system that provides confidentiality, transparency and efficiency throughout the process,” said Secretary of Technology Services and Security Curtis M. Wood. “This is a powerful example of how technology solutions can provide meaningful benefits to the residents of the Commonwealth.”
Governor Baker signed legislation in 2018 granting EOPSS the authority to establish and maintain a statewide SAECK tracking system. EOPSS then sought input from a broad spectrum of key stakeholders that included survivors, victim advocates, public health and public safety officials, crime lab personnel and information technology specialists to identify the project’s requirements. Following the procurement process, EOPSS last year contracted with STACS DNA, which has developed similar tracking systems for Arizona, Michigan, Washington, Nevada and Texas.