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Frequently asked questions about Track-Kit

Here you'll find a comprehensive selection of FAQs regarding Track-Kit.

Table of Contents

Multiple Portals (LEA, MF, LAB, DAO) FAQ

What is Track-Kit STACS DNA?

A cloud-based Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kit (SAECK) Tracking System which tracks all SAECK(s) from collection at a medical facility to delivery to a crime lab for testing. Track-Kit can be accessed on any device with a web browser.

What is STACS DNA?

The company providing the Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kit Tracking System. Please contact STACS DNA 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at support@stacsdna.com or (855) 929-1789 for support.

Who has access to Track-Kit?

Each department is responsible for determining which personnel shall have access to the department portal and ensure those with access are properly trained in the operation of the tracking system. Each department should have a specific policy in place to address when an authorized user shall no longer access the tracking system and identify when revocation of privileges should occur. Users who are terminated, resigned their employment, or are placed on suspension should have their privileges revoked immediately. Likewise, the policy should also address new user access privileges and training. It is each department’s responsibility to ensure only authorized users have access to the tracking system and are properly trained in the operation of the tracking system.

What is the portal administrator role in Track-Kit?

The portal administrator can add or delete personnel from their department in Track-Kit. Each portal administrator is required to run statutory audit reports an on annual basis.

What happens to my existing chain of custody system?

Track-Kit does NOT replace your department's operational applications or systems. You should continue to follow your standard operating procedure when you receive or process a sexual assault evidence collection kit and Toxicology Kit.

Our department is looking into purchasing a scanner or replacing our existing scanner, do you have any recommendations?

Please contact support@stacsdna.com for a recommended list of scanners that are compatible with Track-Kit provided by the vendor, STACS-DNA.

Does Track-Kit track toxicology kits?

A Toxicology Kit is administer to survivors to determine if drugs or other substances are present in the survivor's system. This kit is done simultaneously with the SAECK but is tracked separately in the tracking system. The Toxicology Kit MUST be submitted to the Massachusetts State Police Crime Lab (MSPCL) regardless of whether the survivor reports the sexual assault to law enforcement or where the sexual assault occurred. Toxicology Kits are automatically tested because of the potential for dissipation of evidence.

Does Track-Kit track other evidence such as clothing?

No.

Explain the difference between “reported” versus “unreported” in Track-Kit.

If the survivor informs the medical facility that they do not wish to speak with law enforcement to make a complaint regarding a sexual assault, the SAECK will be listed as "unreported" in Track-Kit. Unreported SAECKs will be collected by the appropriate law enforcement agency and will be stored at the law enforcement agency's evidence facility. All accompanying Toxicology Kits must be submitted to the Massachusetts State Police Crime Laboratory (MSPCL), regardless of whether the SAECK is reported or unreported or where the sexual assault occurred.

If the survivor informs the medical facility that they want to report the sexual assault to law enforcement, the SAECK will be listed as "reported" in Track-Kit and the survivor will be expected to file a police report within seven (7) days. Reported SAECKs need to be transported to the laboratory within seven (7) business days of notification.


Two important distinctions:

  1. the survivor can decide to report the sexual assault in the future;
  2. a kit administered to a minor (15 years of age or younger) will always be considered “reported” for tracking purposes only and is required to be tested at the crime lab.

What should medical facilities, law enforcement agencies, and District Attorney’s Offices do if they wish to add resources or information to the Mass.Gov website or the survivor portal?

Please contact the Policy Center at (833) KIT-TRAC or by email kit_trackinginfo@mass.gov.

Are the SAECKs that are sent out-of-state able to be tracked?

No. Once an out-of-state law enforcement agency picks up the kit from a Massachusetts medical facility or law enforcement agency, that SAECK will no longer be tracked in Track-Kit.

Why does Track-Kit state that a minor is 15 years of age or younger if that is not legally the case in the state of Massachusetts?

Pursuant to Massachusetts law, a person 15 years and under cannot consent to a sexual touching and therefore all of those kits will be tested at the crime lab.

Who can reset a survivor’s password?

Only the medical facility or a law enforcement agency can properly authenticate the survivor’s identity. Therefore, only medical facilities and law enforcement agencies will be able to reset a survivor’s password. The medical facility or law enforcement agency needs to enter the barcode found in their records and follow the prompts related to changing a survivor’s password. There will be two options:

  1. sending a reset link to the survivor’s email address, which can be provided by the survivor or,
  2. providing the survivor with a new password and updating Track-Kit with that password.

Can attachments be uploaded to Track-Kit?

No. Track-Kit only tracks SAECKs. The system keeps SAECKs anonymized and does not support document attachments, images, or uploads.

What are the timeframe requirements for medical facilities, law enforcement agencies and the laboratories to enter their respective information within the Track-Kit system?

Pursuant to Massachusetts law, no later than 24 hours after administering a kit, the medical facility must notify the corresponding law enforcement agency responsible for retrieving the SAECK. This notification shall be through entering the SAECK into the tracking system and can also be verbally communicated. The law enforcement agency has three (3) business days to collect the SAECK from the medical facility and seven (7) business days from notification to transport a reported SAECK to the crime lab. The lab has 30 calendar days to complete SAECK testing.

Who do I contact if I have a question about Track-Kit’s functionality?

Please contact STACS DNA 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at support@stacsdna.com or (855) 929-1789.

Medical Facility Portal FAQs

Our department usually calls the appropriate law enforcement agency to alert them that there is a SAECK that is ready for pick-up. Can I continue this procedure?

Track-Kit is NOT replacing your department's operational procedure. Track-Kit is to be used in addition to your pre-existing procedure. You should continue to follow your standard operating procedure when you process a SAECK. For example, if you call the law enforcement agency while the SAECK is being administered, you should continue to call the law enforcement agency even with Track-Kit in place if you wish.

If a survivor is assaulted out-of-state and the survivor comes back to Massachusetts and is administered a SAECK at a Massachusetts medical facility, what does he/she do?

The medical facility shall take all necessary steps to contact the out-of-state law enforcement agency for potential transport. If after 24 hours the out-of-state law enforcement agency fails to respond to the inquiry, the medical facility shall enter the SAECK into the tracking system. The Massachusetts State Police Detective Unit (MSPDU) assigned to that particular county will be notified through the tracking system. It will be the responsibility of the relevant MSPDU to take custody of the SAECK for storage at the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security’s (EOPSS) storage facility located in Milford. All accompanying Toxicology Kits must be submitted to the Massachusetts State Police Crime Lab (MSPCL), regardless of whether the survivor reports the assault due to potential dissipation of evidence.

Can a SANE nurse update Track-Kit?

The medical facility administrator is responsible for identifying all authorized users for Track-Kit, which may include SANE nurses.

If the person who administers the exam is not the person updating the tracking system, does that person’s name get entered as the collector?

Yes, the Track-Kit system allows the Track-Kit user to identify who administered the SAECK. The user will be able to add names that are not in the system.

Do we discard or return the unused SAECKs currently in our possession that do not have barcodes?

No. This SAECKs will be retrofitted with new barcodes. Your facility should have received a package with further instructions. Please contact the Policy Center at kit_trackinginfo@mass.gov if you have not received this package.

The current SAECKs do not have barcodes. Will this change?

Yes, every medical facility that administers SAECKs will be receiving a package with barcodes, login information for the survivor, and instructions on retrofitting the kits. Please contact the Policy Center at kit_trackinginfo@mass.gov if you have not received this package.

Who can I contact if I need additional barcode labels and survivor cards so that I can retrofit the existing kits in my medical facility?

If a medical facility requires more barcodes and stickers to retrofit SAECK in their inventory, they should contact the Massachusetts Office of Grants and Research (OGR) as they would if the medical facility were requesting more SAECKs.

How does the medical facility know which law enforcement agency to assign SAECKs to when there are many communities within the medical facilities’ geographic area?

The collector must ascertain from the survivor where the sexual assault occurred so as to notify the appropriate law enforcement agency.

What information do we provide survivors?

In advance or at the time of the administration of the SAECK, the medical facility shall provide the survivor with the Survivor’s Bill of Rights document established by the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security and assist the survivor in accordance with those rights. The survivor shall also be provided with the Track-Kit information card contained within the SAECK. This card informs the survivor of the availability of the tracking system and provides them with a temporary password to access the tracking system. The medical facility or law enforcement agency shall assist the survivor in the re-setting of their password in the event that the survivor misplaces their card. Only the medical facility or law enforcement agency can properly authenticate the survivor’s identity. The Policy Center does not have the ability authenticate a survivor’s identity and therefore cannot assist the survivor in re-setting their password. If a Toxicology Kit is administered, the survivor should also receive the Survivor Toxicology Kit Guidance available for printing on mass.gov/saeck.

Our facility has a SAECK that is overdue for pickup by the law enforcement agency that was notified. What are our options?

If a medical facility encounters a situation in which SAECKs are not retrieved in a timely fashion, the medical facility can seek the assistance of the Policy Center.

Can medical facilities continue ordering SAECKs using the procedures used in the past?

No. Track-Kit offers the capability of requesting new SAECKs. Please use the Track-Kit system to order new SAECKs.

I am unable to select the appropriate law enforcement agency because the law enforcement agency is not listed in Track-Kit yet. How should I proceed?

Contact the Policy Center at (833) KIT-TRAC or via email at kit_trackinginfo@mass.gov for further guidance.

For any other questions, please contact STACS DNA 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at support@stacsdna.com or (855) 929-1789.

Law Enforcement Agency Portal FAQs

I am part of a Massachusetts State Police Detective Unit and an out-of-state SAECK was assigned to me, what should I do?

You should pick up the SAECK, and contact the Massachusetts State Police Crime Lab (MSPCL) to make an appointment to transport the SAECK to the EOPSS Milford storage facility.

Another state called my department because a survivor was assaulted in my department’s town, but the survivor’s SAECK was administered outside of Massachusetts. What should I do?

If your agency is contacted by an out-of-state medical facility or law enforcement agency regarding a SAECK that was administered to a survivor and the sexual assault occurred in your jurisdiction, your agency shall take possession of that SAECK. Upon possession of that SAECK, your agency must contact the Policy Center at (833) KIT-TRAC or via email at kit_trackinginfo@mass.gov to obtain a Track-Kit bar code to be used for that SAECK. The agency will then enter the SAECK into the tracking system and either retain the SAECK if the sexual assault is considered unreported or transport to the relevant crime lab if the sexual assault is reported. All Toxicology Kits, whether accompanying a reported or unreported SAECK, must be submitted to the Massachusetts State Police Crime Lab (MSPCL).

How and where should we store the SAECK?

Please contact the MSPCL for best evidence storage practices. Note that all accompanying Toxicology Kits must be submitted to the MSPCL, regardless of whether SAECK is reported or unreported or where the sexual assault occurred.

I am a law enforcement personnel and received a SAECK that the medical facility indicated as reported in Track-Kit. The survivor has not reported the sexual assault to my agency. What should we do?

If the survivor has not filed a police report within 7 days of the administration of the SAECK, you can modify the information in Track-Kit to indicate the SAECK is unreported. If this is the case, do not bring the SAECK to the crime laboratory but safely store it at your evidence facility. However, pediatric SAECKs (kits that are administered to minors who are 15 years of age or younger) should all be transported to the crime lab. Additionally, all accompanying Toxicology Kits must be submitted to the MSPCL, regardless of whether the SAECK is reported or unreported or where the sexual assault occurred.

A survivor initially indicated that they did not wish to report the sexual assault to law enforcement. The survivor later contacts my department to report the sexual assault. Can this be indicated in the Track-Kit system?

Yes, you can change the reported/unreported field to "Yes" and proceed to transfer the SAECK to the crime laboratory.

How long does an "unreported" SAECK need to be stored?

SAECKs, reported or unreported, will not be destroyed or discarded and should be stored pursuant to Massachusetts General Law chapter 41, section 97B.

I am a law enforcement personnel that was erroneously assigned a SAECK that should have been assigned to a more appropriate law enforcement agency. What should I do?

Track-Kit allows you to transfer a SAECK. There is a link on the main page of your portal that reads "Transfer". This feature allows you to transfer SAECKs among law enforcement agencies and also allows you to transfer SAECKs to a Massachusetts State Police Detective Unit in the case that an out-of-state SAECK was erroneously assigned to your department.

When we pick up a reported SAECK, we may not know the charges yet, but a Sexual Assault Report Code is required?

The Sexual Assault Report Code on Track-Kit should reflect the sexual assault crime that was reported by the survivor, it does not reflect the formal charges that may be filed.

Do we have to enter all existing SAECKs that are housed in evidence?

No, this tracking system will be used prospectively. Only a SAECK administered after the agency user has been trained and is granted access to the tracking system shall be entered into the tracking system. The agency will be contacted as to the date by which they are to begin using the tracking system. Even if the medical facility has failed to enter the SAECK into the tracking system, the agency is still responsible for entering the SAECK into the tracking system as of the date they are authorized to use the tracking system.

Are we going to be provided with a point of contact for medical facilities?

Please contact the medical facility’s emergency department and ask for the SAECK point of contact. Alternatively, Track-Kit can inform you who administered a particular SAECK and who entered the information in Track-Kit.

My department has an out-of-state SAECK in its possession, should we continue storing it or transfer it to a Massachusetts State Police Detective Unit (MSPDU)?

You can contact your county’s MSPDU to transfer this SAECK to the EOPSS Milford storage facility. All Toxicology Kits must be transported to the MSPCL for testing and storing. Due to the dissipation of evidence, the MSPCL will test this kit despite the assault occurring out of state.

What if the medical facility contacts us directly to pick up the SAECK before they initiate the SAECK's entry into the Track-Kit system?

Track-Kit allows back dating and will allow the medical facility to enter the information as soon as they are able to as long as they have the barcode number. The law enforcement agency will be able to enter information into Track-Kit even if the medical facility has not updated their information fields for that specific SAECK and Toxicology Kit.

Our evidence officer will be responsible for updating Track-Kit and a different personnel will be transporting the SAECK. Will this be captured in Track-Kit?

Yes, the Track-Kit user will be able to identify who picked up the SAECK versus who entered the information. The user will be able to add names if they are not in the system without creating new users.

Is there a way to search for a SAECK if you do not have the barcode at the time of the search?

Yes, there are several queries that could be run. One way to search for a SAECK is by law enforcement agency case number if Track-Kit was already updated with that information. If you have questions regarding queries please contact STACS DNA 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at support@stacsdna.com or (855) 929-1789.

Section 215 specifies the need for a trauma-trained person to be identified to serve as a survivor’s contact person, what are the training requirements for this person?

Please see the guidance that was distributed by the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security to all Massachusetts police and campus public safety chiefs on December 18, 2019.

Our department is ready to transport a reported SAECK to the laboratory, how should we proceed?

If your primary laboratory is the MSPCL, please make an appointment for drop-off. If your primary laboratory is the Boston Police Crime Laboratory, please transport the SAECK as soon as you are able to, no appointment is necessary.

What information should we provide to survivors?

If an officer is the initial contact with the survivor prior to seeking medical assistance with a SAECK, prior to an interview, a law enforcement officer shall provide the survivor with the Survivor’s Bill of Rights document established by the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security and assist the survivor in accordance with those rights. The survivor’s safety and well-being is paramount and the officer shall use their best judgement in assessing the survivor’s safety if the officer is the first point of contact for the survivor. After a survivor has been administered a SAECK, the medical facility will have provided that person with the Track-Kit information card contained within the SAECK. This card informs the survivor of the availability of the tracking system and provides them with a temporary password to access the tracking system. The medical facility and the law enforcement agency shall assist the survivor in re-setting their password if they misplace their card. Only the medical facility or law enforcement can properly authenticate the survivor’s identity. The Policy Center does not have the ability authenticate a survivor’s identity and therefore cannot assist the survivor in re-setting their password. If the survivor is seeking assistance in obtaining the lab results from their SAECK or seeking CODIS information, the agency shall advise the survivor that such information can only be obtained from the District Attorney’s Office but the agency shall facilitate the survivor’s contact with the DA’s office. If a Toxicology Kit is administered, the survivor should also receive the Survivor Toxicology Guidance available for printing on mass.gov/saeck.

Laboratory Portal FAQs

Since law enforcement agencies can back date information, could it be possible that there will be a lag time between actual delivery of a SAECK and when a SAECK is entered into Track-Kit?

Law enforcement agencies should enter the accurate date of pick up and drop off into Track-Kit and should adhere to the timeframe requirements.

Can the laboratory return the SAECK to the law enforcement agency if the laboratory has not finalized testing?

Yes. The law enforcement agency will receive notification through the tracking system when a SAECK is ready to be picked up from the lab. This information will be captured on Track-Kit because the crime laboratory will not indicate analysis is complete but the law enforcement agency will indicate that they picked up the SAECK from the laboratory and are storing the SAECK at their facility. The law enforcement agency must adhere to the established policy of contacting the crime lab to make an appointment prior to retrieving the SAECK.

What is the definition for laboratory complete date?

The laboratory complete date is the date that all testing and analyses have been completed.

Is the case number field referring to the laboratory’s case number?

Yes. This information is useful for queries.

What does it mean by “tolled” SAECK?

Pursuant to 515 CMR 8.00, a SAECK is considered tolled when the most forensically probative item of evidence has been identified as quality limited (QLIM) and would be exhausted by DNA testing, causing a delay in the testing period for a period of time as set forth in 515 CMR 8.03.

Where will out-of-state SAECKs be stored?

Before a SAECK administered in the Commonwealth for a sexual assault occurring outside of Massachusetts is entered into the tracking system, the medical facility must take all necessary steps to contact the out-of-state law enforcement agency. If after 24 hours the out-of-state LEA fails to respond, the medical facility must enter the SAECK into the tracking system. The tracking system will send notification of the collection of the out-of-state SAECK to the Massachusetts State Police Detective Unit (MSPDU). The MSPDU will take custody of, transport and schedule storage of the SAECK at the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security’s Milford storage facility. Out-of-state SAECKs will not be stored at the Massachusetts State Police Crime Lab.

District Attorney Office Portal FAQs

I am a Special Prosecutor and have been assigned to a case outside of my county. How do I gain access to the Track-Kit for that county?

District Attorney’s Offices shall only have access to SAECK information for their county. A DAO seeking access to another county’s SAECK data must make the request in writing by email to the Policy Center. The request must:

  • Be made by the DAO with jurisdiction over the SAECK.
  • Identify the specific SAECK by Track-Kit number.
  • Contain the reasons access is being requested.
  • Include the name(s) and title(s) and current employer of the individual(s) requiring access. For example: The Suffolk County District Attorney's Office is requesting that the Essex County Assistant District Attorney Jane Smith, specially assigned to Suffolk County, be granted access to the Suffolk County SAECK, Track-Kit number XXX.

What are tolled SAECKs?

A SAECK where the testing process is on hold due to either a judicial order suspending testing or a SAECK that contains quantity limited evidence that necessitates notification to the appropriate District Attorney’s Office regarding testing procedures.

Survivor Portal FAQs

What is Track-Kit STACS DNA?

A cloud-based Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kit (SAECK) Tracking System which tracks all SAECK(s) from collection at a medical facility to delivery to a crime lab for testing. Track-Kit can be accessed on any device with a web browser.

What is STACS DNA?

The company providing the Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kit Tracking System. Please contact STACS DNA 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at support@stacsdna.com or (855) 929-1789 for support.

What is a Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kit (SAECK)?

A sealed box containing detailed protocols and all the medical equipment necessary to conduct a thorough forensic medical examination on an adult and an adolescent sexual assault survivor (!2 years of age and older). A SAECK may also be referred to as a "rape kit".

What is a Toxicology Kit?

A Toxicology Kit is a kit administered to survivors to determine if drugs or other substances are present in the survivor's system. A toxicology kit will only be administered to a survivor if the survivor agrees to it and has completed the consent form.

Does Track-Kit track Toxicology Kits?

Toxicology Kits are administered simultaneously with the SAECK but are tracked separately in the tracking system.

Does Track-Kit track other evidence such as clothing?

No.

What information will I need to track my SAECK and Toxicology Kit in Track-Kit?

You will be given a card at the medical facility that provides information for how to access Track-Kit. You will need to log into the Survivor Portal (using the login on your card) in https://ma.track-kit.us to check the location of your SAECK and Toxicology Kit. There will only be one login to access Track-Kit which will allow you to view both kits.

I misplaced my password, who do I call?

If you did not report the sexual assault to law enforcement, you should contact the medical facility where the SAECK was administered. If you reported the sexual assault to law enforcement, you can contact either the medical facility where the SAECK was administered or the law enforcement agency you spoke with. Please find the appropriate contact information on your portal’s main page towards the bottom of the page. If you do not have this information, please contact STACS DNA 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at support@stacsdna.com or (855) 929-1789.

Does the tracking system retain any personal information?

No. The system is anonymized.

Will Track-Kit alert me of changes?

Your portal gives you the option of opting-in to receive alerts via email or text.

If I opt-in for alerts can I opt-out?

Yes.

I do not see any movement on my SAECK's status. Who can I contact?

If the survivor has not reported the sexual assault, the survivor should contact the medical facility where the SAECK was administered. If the survivor reported the sexual assault to law enforcement, the survivor can contact the law enforcement agency’s sexual assault liaison. If the survivor has been contacted by the District Attorney’s Office, the survivor can reach out to that District Attorney’s Office. The survivor can also utilize resources detailing a number of local and statewide victim advocacy groups located in the survivor portal.

Will I be able to track my SAECK and Toxicology Kit if I do not report the sexual assault to law enforcement?

Yes.

I initially indicated that I did not want to report the sexual assault to law enforcement but I now want to report it, how do I proceed?

Please contact the law enforcement agency in the city or town where the sexual assault occurred, that is in possession of your SAECK. The contact information for the appropriate law enforcement agency can be found in your portal. When you file a report with that law enforcement agency, your SAECK will be submitted to the Massachusetts State Police Crime Lab (MSPCL) for testing and storage. Please keep in mind that if a Toxicology Kit was administered along with your SAECK, the MSPCL would already have possession of it, regardless of whether you originally reported the assault or not.

Where can I access test results?

Please contact the law enforcement agency in the city or town where the sexual assault occurred or the District Attorney's Office in that county that is in possession of your SAECK. The contact information for the appropriate law enforcement agency and District Attorney Office can be found in your portal.

I did not report the sexual assault to law enforcement, will my SAECK and Toxicology Kit be tested?

If you did not report the sexual assault to law enforcement and are over the age of 15, the SAECK will not be tested until the sexual assault is reported. However, any accompanying Toxicology Kit will be tested. Survivors agree to have their results shared by the Massachusetts State Police Crime Lab (MSPCL) with the Access to Forensic Information (AFI) Project when they are at the medical facility. In the event that a SAECK is unreported, the unreported survivor can obtain their results by contacting AFI at (866) 463-3799.

What happens if the sexual assault happened outside of Massachusetts?

A SAECK will be administered at a Massachusetts medical facility and the SAECK will be transferred to the out-of-state law enforcement agency for testing if the law enforcement agency is responsive or stored in Massachusetts if the out-of-state law enforcement agency is unresponsive. SAECKs for out-of-state sexual assaults are not tested in Massachusetts. However, an accompanying Toxicology Kit will be tested at the Massachusetts State Police Crime Lab and the results available to you, as discussed above.

Contact

Online

For general questions or inquiries: kit_trackinginfo@mass.gov

Address

Executive Office of Public Safety and Security
1 Ashburton Place
Boston, MA 02108
Massachusetts State Police Crime Laboratory
124 Acton Street
Maynard, MA 01754
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