MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The Minneapolis Police Department says it will hire an advocate for sexual assault victims, following a Star Tribune investigation that revealed pervasive flaws in the handling of rape cases in Minneapolis and other agencies around the state.

An advocate from the Sexual Violence Center will work alongside the department's sex crimes unit and offer victims support, give case updates and expedite access to resources.

The advocate will accompany sex assault victims as they make reports to police.

The move comes after a Star Tribune investigation found that since 2015, there have been hundreds of rape cases in which police departments failed to interview witnesses, collect evidence or assign detectives. The reporting led to calls for sweeping improvements.