Develop a SART
skip navigation 

Law Enforcement Officials

Responding Officers

Officers who respond to sexual assault reports assess whether victims need immediate medical attention and take brief statements to determine that a sexual assault occurred. Officers also determine whether there are multiple crime scenes, take steps to secure and collect evidence, and submit written reports to investigators.

In addition, responding officers may59

  • Explain the investigation steps to victims, including the need to ask personal information about the assault.
  • Interview victims as briefly as possible to obtain the necessary facts.
  • Explain basic services that are available and provide referrals.
  • Ask dispatchers to notify appropriate support services (e.g., investigator, photo lab, fingerprint technician, victim counselor).
  • Identify and collect clothing and other crime scene evidence.
  • Broadcast suspect information, if appropriate.
  • Explain the importance of medical forensic examinations and the timeframe in which evidence typically remains viable.
  • Arrange for victims' transportation to and from the exam site, as needed.
  • Ensure that victims bring additional clothing to the exam site.
  • Coordinate collection and delivery of evidence to designated labs or law enforcement facilities.
  • Follow the chain of custody in handling and submitting physical evidence.
  • Obtain witness statements.
  • Obtain suspect forensic examinations.