25.00.100     PROPERTY/EVIDENCE UNIT                       (CALEA 84.1.5 & .1.6)


The Administrative Services Commander will have overall responsibility for the property and evidence function.


Property /Evidence Personnel will be responsible for the proper and timely documentation and handling of property and evidence from its entry into the property and evidence system until its final disposition.


Duties and Responsibilities


Maintain accurate records relating to each item of property/evidence taken into custody, including:


v     The date the property was received into the system


v     The custody audit trail, including the date, time, destination and personnel involved in every transfer of property into and out of the Property/Evidence Unit


v     Disposition of each item of property


v     Accurately inventory property in custody


v     Provide written notification to property owners regarding custody, release, retention or trade of property in accordance with Chapter 63.32 RCW.


v      Release property to the owner or their designee upon showing of proper identification.  Record the date, time and identity of the person to whom the property is released.  Photocopy the individual’s photo identification.


v      Fulfill assigned responsibilities relating to the sale, retention, trade or destruction of unclaimed property in accordance with Chapter 63.32 RCW and these procedures.


Property and evidence will be continually challenged for retention based upon the schedule included in the Department Property/Evidence Manual.


Property/Evidence Unit personnel will contact the officer/detective who booked the property into Department custody and inquire regarding the Department’s need to continue holding the property for investigative or prosecutorial purposes.  Officers/detectives are required to respond to this inquiry within 20 working days.


If the officer indicates no further prosecutorial or investigative need exist to hold the property, obtain the officer’s release by e-mail or chain of custody form.


Audit and Inspection


The commander of the Administrative Services Section, or his/her designee, will conduct an inspection of the Property/Evidence Unit records and contents semi-annually.  The semi-annual inspection will be conducted to determine that the Property/Evidence Unit is being maintained in a clean and orderly fashion and that all orders and other directives concerning the Property Management System are being followed.


Unannounced spot inspections of the Property/Evidence Unit facility may be conducted at the direction of the Chief of Police.  Property accountability and security procedures will receive primary attention during these inspections.


An annual audit of property held by the Department will be conducted by a supervisor designated by the Administrative Services Division Deputy Chief.  This audit supervisor may not be one that is routinely or directly connected with the control of property.  This audit must include the contents of the drug and currency safes.


Personnel changes in the Property/Evidence Unit staff will require an inventory of property to ensure that records are correct and properly annotated.


All safe combinations and alarm codes will be changed any time a Property Unit employee is no longer working in that capacity.  Keys and safe combinations are under the control of the Property/Evidence Unit staff and the Administrative Services Commander Only.