Robbins police department facing overhaul

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The newly elected mayor of Robbins is announcing a sweeping overhaul of his police department in the wake of disclosures that the department mishandled evidence from several rape cases.

That evidence is placed into what is called a rape kit; dozens of untested kits were discovered earlier this year — some dating back to 1986 — and ultimately sent to the Iliinois State Police to be tested.

One kit identified a suspect in a 1991 sexual assault, but the finding came too late because the statute of limitations for the crime had run out. The victim came forward to reveal her personal struggles in the wake of the rape, and her frustration with the police department’s inattention to her case.

Since taking office, Robbins Mayor Tyrone Ward has hired a new police chief and deputy chief, and a new command staff and new investigators; and the police department’s evidence room and evidence lab are getting some long-needed attention.

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