Mayor Bloomberg announced yesterday that the city's first mobile sexual assault response team will begin operating in The Bronx next month. The mayor said highly trained investigators and medical personnel would respond to every rape victim at the three Bronx municipal hospitals - North Central Bronx, Jacobi and Lincoln - within an hour. He explained that there is a very short window of opportunity in rape cases to gather evidence and humanely treat shaken victims for medical and emotional trauma. The special squad will be composed of 12 to 14 members. It is being funded by a $400,000 state and federal grant. The SART squad will be on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If the pilot is successful, the program will be expanded to all five boroughs.

(New York)