By Associated Press - Friday, October 5, 2018

AKRON, Ohio (AP) - The U.S. Justice Department has awarded an Ohio police department nearly $1 million to investigate sexual assault cold cases.

The city of Akron said Wednesday that the three-year grant to its police department will help fund a new working group that will take a victim-centered, trauma-informed approach to investigating and prosecuting cold cases.

Akron Police Chief Kenneth Ball says the department is thrilled to receive the grant, and it’s a positive step toward “securing justice.”

The department began reviewing all sexual-assault kits collected since 1993 under the state’s 2011 testing initiative.

The department quickly found itself understaffed after 847 kits returned genetic profiles from DNA collected from crime scenes, felons and felony suspects.

Akron’s Democratic Mayor Dan Horrigan says the grant will allow the city to hold abusers accountable.

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