McDermed lauds new state police sexual assault evidence tracking system

State Rep. Margo McDermed lauded Illinois State Police for implementing a statewide system to track evidence of a sexual assault, which she said would bring “peace of mind” to survivors.

McDermed, R-Mokena, has advocated for such a system and pushed for the passage of legislation to mandate the tracking of evidence.

The ISP’s CheckPoint system will allow survivors of sexual assault to monitor the status of their evidence throughout the entire process, from collection at the hospital through law enforcement pickup and submission to the forensic lab, according to a news release. The process ultimately leads to a state’s attorney’s office, where final results are received.

To ensure privacy, the system will use unique case numbers and passwords to limit access to survivors and law enforcement.

“CheckPoint is the culmination of years of work from a lot of stakeholders including legislators like myself, the Illinois State Police, women’s rights group and many others that were dedicated to making this happen,” McDermed said in the release.

McDermed passed a bill in 2017 to create the Sexual Assault Evidence Tracking and Reporting Commission with the goal of determining how to implement an electronic evidence tracking system. The commission, which McDermed chaired, recommended legal and policy changes to implement such a system.

Those changes were incorporated into a bill sponsored by McDermed that was passed in 2019.

McDermed said the progress was “a massive step in the right direction.”

Alex Ortiz

Alex Ortiz is a reporter for The Herald-News in Joliet. Originally from Romeoville, Ill., he joined The Herald-News in 2017 and mostly covers Will County government, politics, education and more. He earned his bachelor's degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a master's degree from Northwestern University.