APD to retrain after audit shows almost 1/3 rape cases mishandled

Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A week after the Department of Public Safety declared Austin police had incorrectly cleared almost one-third of rape cases in 2017, the Public Safety Commission will be briefed on the findings of the report and APD will begin training. 

On Dec. 31, 2018, DPS announced that of the 95 sexual assault cases that were closed but not solved during a three-month period in 2017, 30 should not have been closed. The process of closing but not solving sexual assault cases, called “exceptional clearance,” means police know the identity of the offender but can’t make an arrest. 

The audit found that police in Austin used the clearance often and incorrectly. The full report is expected to be released later in the week. 

Since the audit, DPS reviewed the Austin police training guidelines and the two departments seek to retrain APD supervisors and officers on investigating sexual assault cases.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, DPS officials will train APD supervisors and leaders in the “Train the Trainer,” program. Then, next week, the newly retrained Austin supervisors will seek to retrain the 296 detectives at APD. 

“Immediately we reached back out to DPS’ Incident Reporting Bureau and asked them if they would assist us in retraining our detective bureau so that we could ensure that every detective was current on their knowledge and was following appropriate guidelines,” Chief Brian Manley said. “They have agreed and what they are doing is reviewing our training protocols and they are going to come in and observe our Train the Trainer program.”

Chief Manley added APD will also go back and review all of its exceptionally cleared crime data from all of 2018 to make sure it’s accurate.

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