25.00.140 RETENTION OF UNCLAIMED PROPERTY FOR DEPARTMENT USE
Retention of unclaimed property must be authorized in writing by the Chief of Police.
A written request to retain unclaimed property which explains the intended use of the property must be submitted to the Chief of Police by a Section Commander.
Property being retained for use by the Department must be valued at $500 or more, unless an exemption is given by the Chief of Police.
Personnel are prohibited from entering the Property Room for the sole purpose of browsing for property to convert to Department use.
The Property Evidence Supervisor is responsible for tracking property converted for Department use. On an annual basis the Property Evidence Supervisor will contact the appropriate Section Commander and determine whether the converted property is still in their possession and the property is being used. Property that is no longer being used will be returned to the Property Evidence Room. The Property Evidence Supervisor will make an annual Report to the Chief of Police on the Status of all converted Property.
Before any items of unclaimed property can be retained for use by the Department, a notice of such retention, describing the items to be retained, will be placed in the local newspaper at least once. Such notice will be placed at least ten days prior to the conversion and use of the described items of unclaimed property.
The owner of retained property has the right to reclaim it, without compensation for ordinary wear and tear, within one year from the date of receipt of notice as stated in paragraph IV.C of the Property and Evidence Manual.
Unclaimed property that is legal to possess or sell may be traded for law enforcement equipment.
Trading Unclaimed Property
Trading unclaimed property must be authorized in writing by the Chief of Police.
Written request to trade unclaimed property for law enforcement equipment must be submitted to the Chief of Police by a Section Commander.
The request to trade unclaimed property must describe the unclaimed property and its replacement value as well as the equipment to be obtained in trade, the retail value of the equipment and the intended equipment dealer.
Before any items of unclaimed property can be traded for law enforcement equipment, a notice, describing the items to be traded, will be placed in the local newspaper at least once. Such notice will be placed at least ten days prior to the proposed trade.
Unclaimed property that is retained for Department use and equipment received in trade for unclaimed property must be inventoried in Property/Evidence Unit records.
The record will describe the property retained or traded, and the equipment received, as well as the replacement value of the retained property and equipment received in trade, and the date of retention or trade.
At the conclusion of each calendar year, the Property/Evidence Supervisor will provide an annual list of all traded or retained property containing the information required in Property and Evidence Manual, paragraph VI.4.a to the Administrative Services Commander.
The Administrative Services Commander will forward the annual list of retained and traded property to the Administrative Services Division Deputy Chief who will provide a report to the City Council in accordance with Chapter 63.32 RCW Property Disposal.
Money civilly seized under authority of RCW 69.50.505 will, if forfeited by default or following a forfeiture hearing, be deposited in accord with City Finance Department procedures and in accord with the guidelines of RCW 69.50.505. Funds not forfeited following a forfeiture hearing will be returned to the claimant, or distributed as directed by the hearing examiner or court.
If civilly seized funds are forfeited to the city, an Investigations Supervisor or above will prepare a memo to the Finance Director, delivered via the Chief of Police that explains the facts of the forfeiture. Also included in this memo should be information to document the exact amount of funds forfeited; a request for the funds to be placed in the drug forfeiture account of the city budget; if the defendant has signed a waiver of appeal; if an appeal was made and lost; and/or verification of the expiration of the appeal period.