PERK Inventory FAQs
Why do we need to complete the PERK inventory?
- The PERK inventory is mandated by Chapter 642 of the 2014 Acts of Assembly, which provides that “[a]ll local and state law-enforcement agencies shall report an inventory of all physical evidence recovery kits in their custody that may contain biological evidence that were collected but not submitted to the Department of Forensic Science for analysis prior to July 1, 2014.”
What is the deadline for submitting the completed PERK inventory form to DFS?
- The deadline for returning your completed Excel spreadsheet form for the PERK inventory is February 1, 2015.
How do I return the completed PERK inventory form to DFS?
- Forms should be completed electronically in Excel, saved and submitted to DFS via electronic mail to email@example.com.
Does my agency need to complete the inventory form if we do not have any Victim PERKs in our custody that would need to be counted for purposes of the inventory?
- Yes, even if your agency does not have any Victim PERKs that need to be included in the inventory, you will need to complete the top (Agency Information) portion of the inventory form and then check the box immediately below the PERK Specific Inventory Information heading on the form to indicate that your agency does not have any PERKs in its custody that are required to be included in the inventory.
Do we need to inventory Suspect PERKs that are in our custody?
- No, Suspect PERKs should not be included as part of the inventory. Only Victim PERKs should be included in the inventory.
Do we need to inventory any additional associated evidence (e.g., suspect knowns, non-PERK evidence)?
- No, only Victim PERKs are part of this inventory.
What if a sexual assault case did not have a PERK collected, but the victim’s underpants, bedding or other evidence was collected – does it need to be included in the inventory?
- The PERK inventory is being collected to capture information about Physical Evidence Recovery Kits collected from victims. Other evidence collected from victims should not be included in the inventory when a PERK was not collected.
If a PERK was submitted to DFS on August 1, 2014, but was in the agency’s custody on July 1, 2014, does it need to be included in the inventory?
- The legislation specifies that “law-enforcement agencies shall report an inventory of all physical evidence recovery kits in their custody that may contain biological evidence that were collected but not submitted to the Department of Forensic Science for analysis prior to July 1, 2014.” If the evidence is no longer in your agency’s custody because it has been submitted to DFS for testing by the time the inventory is conducted, the PERK does not need to be included in the inventory.
What do we do with PERKS in our custody that were received after June 30, 2014 and before the inventory completion date?
- The inventory should not include any PERKs received by your agency after June 30, 2014.
Inventory Form Entry
What if I cannot find my agency in the dropdown menu?
- Agencies are listed alphabetically in the dropdown menu. If your agency is not listed, please scroll to the bottom of the dropdown and click on “Other (Please Indicate Below)” and then type your Agency Name in the blank field in the row below the Agency Name row.
How do we make entries for “Anonymous/blind report PERKs”?
- Any PERK-specific information about an “Anonymous/blind report PERK” should be included in the appropriate inventory fields. If the requested information for a specific field is not available, please leave that field blank.
What are the reasons included in the “Reason PERK Not Submitted” dropdown specified on the form?
- Anonymous/blind report PERK (no victim information)
- Incident currently under investigation
- PERK collected in Commonwealth for out of state jurisdiction
- PERK collected in routine death investigation – no probable cause to submit for testing
- PERK not relevant for evidentiary purposes (e.g., suspect claims consent) or not necessary for prosecution (e.g., suspect confessed)
- PERK submitted to a non-DFS laboratory for testing
- Prosecution declined
- Victim elected not to participate further in criminal justice process
- Other (please explain)
How do I know if a Victim PERK has been previously submitted to DFS for testing?
- If there is yellow DFS evidence tape sealing the outside of the PERK that has been initialed as seen in the photo below, that is an indication that the PERK was previously submitted to DFS for testing. If you are still unsure, you may contact Theresa Francis, Central Laboratory Forensic Biology Group Supervisor, by phone at (804) 588-4072 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do we need to submit the PERKs included on the inventory form to DFS for testing after the inventory is completed?
- PERKs should not be submitted to DFS just because they are included in the PERK inventory; however, any PERK in your agency’s custody that you determine needs testing should be submitted to DFS.
Hospital vs. OCME Designation
What does a “Hospital PERK” look like?
- Victim PERKs collected in the hospital will most often be collected in a large white box as shown below. The Hospital PERK # appears on a sticker on the side of the box, labeled “Kit ID Number.”
(Click to expand)Prior to 1993, Victim PERKs were collected in hospitals using PERKs that were in manila envelopes as shown below. These manila envelope PERKs collected in hospitals do not have a Hospital PERK ID # on them.
(Click to expand)
What does an “OCME PERK” look like?
- The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) collects PERKs in a manila envelope as shown below. This OCME PERK has been in use since the late 1990s. There is no PERK number on an OCME PERK. Prior to use of the current OCME PERK, this evidence would have been collected in a variety of different containers supplied by the medical examiner.