The Los Angeles Police Department has cut in half its backlog of untested DNA evidence from rapes and sexual assaults, the Los Angeles Times reports.

A year ago, amid increasing community pressure, the department acknowledged that nearly 7,500 evidence kits from victims of those sex crimes were languishing in storage freezers without having been analyzed.

In a letter, Chief William Bratton and Deputy Chief Charlie Beck, who heads a task force on the matter, said the number of untested evidence kits had fallen to 3,157. The LAPD should erase the backlog by the summer of 2011.

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