FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) – Alaska’s crime lab is proposing the creation of a dedicated team to process new sexual assault kits in a timely manner.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports the state Department of Public Safety has made progress in addressing the backlog of untested kits across the state, bringing the number down from nearly 3,000 last year to about 2,500 this year.

According to the department’s report to the state Legislature last week, the crime lab expects to test all kits in three to four years.

To prevent a new buildup of untested kits, the state Scientific Crime Detection Laboratory is seeking to split up its Forensic Biology Unit to create a Sexual Assault Team.

The team would include four full-time forensic scientists, aiming to process an additional 120 kits a year.

Information from: Fairbanks (Alaska) Daily News-Miner, http://www.newsminer.com