The city will spend $4.4 million to have the kits tested at two private labs.
"With this plan we will finally be able to say the backlog is gone," Parker said. "The problem was years in the making and we've been working to solve it since I became mayor. It has been a struggle to deal with during a period of extremely difficult economic times, but we remained determined. I am committed to it never happening again."
The backlog was part of a chronic and extensive problem with crime labs here; for years, media have pointed out the problems and officials have vowed to fix them.
Parker's presentation to council suggested using Bode Technology Group, Inc. and Sorenson Forensics, LLC as the labs to get rid of the backlog, some of which goes back decades.
Houston police chief Charles McClelland said the plan should give the labs a new start. "I am extremely confident this will not be an issue in the future," he said.
Half of the $4.4 million has already been set aside in the budget for dealing with the rape-kit backlog; the other half will come from grant money already given to HPD.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.