A Kentucky State Police employee has been recognized by two advocacy groups for her work on behalf of domestic violence and sexual assault victims throughout the state.
Laura Sudkamp, director of the Kentucky State Police Forensic Laboratory System, received a Champion for Justice Award Dec. 2, from the Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs Inc. (KASAP) and the Kentucky Coalition Against Domestic Violence (KCADV).
Sudkamp was honored for her efforts in reducing a backlog of more than 3,000 untested rape kits from cases across Kentucky.
Eileen Recktenwald, executive director of KASAP, said Sudkamp helped write the Sexual Assault Forensic Exam Act of 2016, a state bill designed to address the current backlog and establish safeguards to assure it will never return.
“Due to her dedication, Kentucky secured a $1.8 million federal grant that is expediting work on the untested rape kits,” Recktenwald said. “Her efforts are improving the prosecution of sexual assault cases throughout the state.”
KASAP is a statewide coalition of the 13 rape crisis centers in the Commonwealth. Its mission is to speak with a unified voice against sexual victimization.
The KSP Central Lab in Frankfort has added 11 new biologists to its staff, boosting the DNA testing team to about 30.
“Our goal is reduce the rape kit turnaround time to 90 days by the summer of 2018,” Sudkamp said. “We hope this will bring resolution to many of the victims who never knew what happened to their kits,” she said. “It will also provide the evidence that makes cases more prosecutable.”
“We are very appreciative of Laura’s hard work and dedication,” said Capt. Derek Grant, commander of the KSP Forensic Laboratory Troop. “It was an honor to see her receive the Champion for Justice Award.”
The Kentucky Coalition Against Domestic Violence is a coalition of 15 domestic violence programs in the state. KCADV’s mission is to mobilize and support member programs and allies to end intimate partner violence.
Kentucky State Police