Ramsey County approves funding for sexual assault investigator in Roseville

The Ramsey County Board on Sept. 24 approved the county attorney’s request to fund a sexual assault investigator in the City of Roseville police department starting in 2020. 

The funding adds a full-time sex crimes investigator to the Roseville Police Department ranks to focus solely on sexual conduct case work while collaborating closely with a designated Ramsey County prosecutor. A primary goal of this move is to reduce individual investigators’ sexual assault caseloads as outlined in the April 2019 Ramsey County Sexual Assault Implantation Plan.

“As we have stressed repeatedly, an improved response to sexual assault can only happen with a strong dedication to reducing caseloads of investigators and providing more victim advocacy support,” said Ramsey County Attorney John Choi. “I want to thank the Ramsey County Board of Commissioners for agreeing to provide county funding again for the City of Roseville police department in 2020 to add a dedicated sexual assault investigator.”

 

Commitments

This is the second city in Ramsey County where county funds have incentivized a long-term investment in sexual assault investigations and reducing caseloads. Two additional sexual assault investigators in the City of St. Paul police department are currently funded through the end of this year. The funding for them began in October 2018.

“The County is taking a leadership role in this area because it is our deep value in driving change to improve our response to the victims of sexual assault. These funds have encouraged change in St. Paul and now in Roseville,” said Ramsey County Commissioner Mary Jo McGuire. “I want to thank the county attorney for his leadership and the leaders in Roseville who want to partner with us and do better for our victims.”

In April 2019, law enforcement leaders from across Ramsey County joined prosecutors and public health sexual assault advocates to align their responses to reports of sexual assault. The new collaborative culminates a long process of systems evaluation, including a 2016 sexual assault systems review. The new plan fulfills a commitment to promoting and executing an interagency response to sexual assault victim/survivors through consistency, respect and cultural competency.

The core operating commitments of the Ramsey County Sexual Assault Response Collaboration include: law enforcement will include advocates at all investigative interviews with victim/survivors of sexual assault; law enforcement will provide training for all patrol officers on sexual violence in order to promote a victim-centered response to reports of sexual assault; law enforcement will conduct in-person investigative interviews with victim/survivors of sexual assault, following best practices for a trauma-informed approach; create a better tracking system of sexual assault cases for law enforcement and prosecution so that cases do not slip through the cracks; and improve collaboration between investigators and prosecutors to increase the number of cases charged in Ramsey County, bringing more perpetrators to justice.

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