General Order 84.1

Last Revised:     03-01-2017


This order consists of the following numbered sections:

84.1.1    Property control system

84.1.2    Authorized property storage areas

84.1.3    Property status

84.1.4    Property room audits and inspections

84.1.5    Disposition of property

84.1.1 Property control system

I.    It is the responsibility of the Administrative Services Division to manage and control all property directed to them for evidence or safekeeping.

II.    The Evidence Custodian is designated as the property custodian for the Department.

III.    Property is processed and submitted as below:

A.    All property is processed and recorded as soon as practical following acquisition.

B.    Property acquired by an employee is processed, recorded and placed into the property control system before that employee leaves duty on the date of acquisition.

C.    Whenever property is entered into the property control system, the employee submitting the property prepares a case report or supplemental report.

D.    The employee submitting the property must also prepare and affix an evidence tag with all fields completed.

E.    Guidelines for packaging and labeling property prior to submission to the property custodian are provided in the Property Room manual.

IV.    Property items with exceptional value or sensitivity - such as cash, precious metals, gemstones or drugs - are, after processing, maintained either in a safe or in a double locked area (the “cage”) in the main property room.

V.    Release of Property

A.    Property that is not contraband or otherwise subject to forfeiture or destruction that comes under the Department’s management and control is released to its identified owner/custodian as soon as practical after it is determined that physical retention of the property is not required for the prosecution of a crime.

B.    Contraband and other property subject to forfeiture or destruction under State or Federal law is disposed of as prescribed by law.

84.1.2 Authorized property storage areas

I.    All property acquired by the Department is stored in designated secure property storage areas.

II.    Evidence Facilities

A.    Evidence facilities are equipped with double locked entry and an alarm system that is monitored 24-hours a day.

B.    Only the Evidence Custodian and his/her designee and the Crime Scene Investigations (CSI) Detective have keys to the evidence facilities.

C.    Only the Evidence Custodian and his/her designee have access to the cage in the main property room.

D.    A control set of keys to the evidence facilities are kept in a sealed envelope in the Supervisor IV’s safe and are used for emergency access only.

1.    Whenever the emergency access is used, such use is logged by the Supervisor IV.

2.    After emergency access is utilized, the Evidence Custodian shall prepare and seal a new emergency access envelope and place it in the Supervisor IV’s safe.

E.    Doors in all evidence facilities are kept closed and double locked any time that the Evidence Custodian or his./her designee is not physically present.

F.    Keys are tracked and audited. Electronic access to evidence facilities is managed by the Evidence Custodian.

G.    Keys are accounted for and electronic access is terminated whenever an authorized key holder is reassigned or leaves the employment of the Department

H.    All unauthorized visitors to the evidence facilities are logged and accompanied by authorized staff.

III.    Temporary evidence storage

A.    Temporary storage includes temporary evidence lockers and the vehicle bay located at the Lee Creighton Criminal Justice Center.

B.    All temporary evidence storage remains unlocked when no property is being stored.

C.    All temporary evidence storage is locked using a lock approved by the Evidence Custodian when property is being stored.

D.    The Evidence Custodian retains a copy of all keys used with temporary storage.

E.    The primary key to the temporary storage is held by the officer until the contents of the locker can be placed into an evidence transfer box or transferred to an evidence facility.

F.    All property in temporary storage will be moved by the end of the officer’s work week, and in no case will remain for more than seven days.

G.    The vehicle bay in the Department garage is used for temporary and long-term secure storage of vehicles or other property too large to be stored in a property room.

H.    All other items are stored in temporary storage lockers located at the City Hall evidence processing room.

I.    The Evidence Custodian (or designee) recovers all property stored in temporary property lockers, property refrigerators and the property vehicle bay and processes it the next business day. Processing includes transfer to the main property room (all except vehicles and oversize items that must be stored in the vehicle bay).

84.1.3 Property status

I.    The Evidence Custodian maintains property control system records which include the following information on each item of property held by the Department:

A.    Case number.

B.    Property control number (or bar code).

C.    Submitting officer.

D.    The date and time the item was received.

E.    The exact location where the item is being held.

F.    A thorough description of the item.

G.    Weight (if controlled substance/narcotics) or count if money.

H.    The date, time and results of a WACIC/NCIC check.

I.    Suspect’s/owner’s address/phone.

J.    Finder’s address/phone.

K.    The chain of custody for the item, including a complete record of each time the item was removed/returned from its assigned custodial location; the name of each person removing/returning the item; the dates and times the item was removed/returned; the purpose involved for each time the item was removed/returned.

L.    The date and time the item was released from custody.

M.    If the item was returned to its owner/custodian, the name of the person to whom it was returned.

N.    If the item was disposed of, the date, time and method of disposition, and the name of the employee witnessing the destruction.

84.1.4 Property room audits and inspections

I.    Annually, the Supervisor IV will conduct an audit sufficient to ensure the integrity of the property system and report the findings to the Chief of Police.

II.    Unannounced inspections of property records, evidence facilities and temporary storage areas may be made at any time by any person directed to do so by the Chief of Police.

III.    Whenever a new property custodian is appointed, an inventory of property is conducted. This inventory is conducted jointly by the newly designated property custodian and a designee of the Chief of Police to assure that records are correct and properly annotated.

84.1.5 Disposition of Property

I.    Disposition of found, recovered and evidentiary property, is accomplished at the earliest possible time after all legal requirements have been satisfied.

II.    Conditions for release and identity verification

A.    Property held as evidence shall not be released or destroyed as permitted by law until the crime has exceeded the statute of limitations or documentation has been received from the investigating officer, the prosecutor or the involved court indicating that retention is no longer required.

B.    In every case, the investigating officer makes a good faith effort to verify rightful ownership to property. With regard to found property or other property not associated with an assigned investigation, the Evidence Custodian (or designee) assumes this responsibility;

C.    Any person releasing property held by the Department shall, prior to release, verify the identity of the person receiving the property;

D.    Without exception, each person receiving property being released from Department custody shall sign a property release form.