April 2013
Welcome IAPE Newsletter Reader



The International Association for Property and Evidence, Inc. wants to remind all of our members to renew your membership so as not to miss out on receiving the first issue of the 2013 Evidence Log that is at the printers.

Didn't Know The Bullet Was Loaded!


Dear Joe,

I recently was removing a bag of  ammunition with six cartridges from our temporary lockers when the package fell on the floor. You says what's the big deal! Nothing other that one of the cartridges exploded! Fortunately, no one was injured, just scared the "xxxx" out of all of us the property room. Have you ever heard of this happening before and what was the solution? If there is one?


Thanks, Scarred xxxxx  



Dear Scarred xxxx,


You know that we always talk about Events and Trends in our classes.  Several years ago I had the same question from a Evidence Custodian, employed by the  Alaska State Patrol in Anchorage as the same thing happened. Shortly thereafter in Sacramento, California,  the one time Event became a Trend.


Police Clerk hurt by exploding bullet  


Just last week another Evidence Custodian in one of our classes indicated that they had recently encountered the same type of accident. It seems when the cartridges fall if they strike something sharp, including another bullet, they can in fact explode.   


After hearing about the Alaska incident we mentioned it in the next  Evidence Log, but it seems like we need to again alert all to the dangers and some a few creative solutions. The following was disseminated to employees within the Alaska State Troopers

Injury to an Alaska State  
Trooper Evidence Custodian


On 4/8/11, an Evidence Custodian with the Alaska State Troopers in Palmer, Alaska was moving several items of evidence from a temporary hallway locker to a more secure evidence room.  One of the items being carried was an un-padded manila envelope containing 8 live .45 caliber rounds which were stored loosely in the envelope.

Upon entering the evidence room, the Evidence Custodian inadvertently dropped the envelope from a distance of about 3 feet, on to a vinyl tile cement floor  Upon impact with the floor, one of the live cartridges within the envelope discharged. The bullet and cartridge case separated and traveled approximately five feet. The cartridge case fragmented during the explosion and one piece of the metal cartridge case struck the Evidence Custodian in the wrist and traveled under the skin to the employee's palm, requiring surgery.

The two photos below show how the rim of one live cartridge case (at an approximate 90% angle) made contact against the rim and primer of another live cartridge, which then exploded 

So - What Should We Do?

ABI (Alaska Bureau of Investigation) Evidence Custodian, Jennifer Griggs, began looking for alternative ways to safely package loose ammunition.  This message and attached photos are the results of her efforts.


Although the below suggestions are not ideal for packaging ammunition destined for DNA testing or when latent fingerprinting is needed, these methods may be safer when submitting loose ammunition to AST Evidence Rooms and are worthy of your consideration.


Ammunition still in its original factory container or secured within a firearm magazine (as long as the magazines is separated from the firearm), should  not need to be repackaged.


Suggestion #1:  (See Attached Photos #1-2)


*   Cut a piece of cardboard to size.  For instance in the attached pictures, the cardboard is about 4 inches by 3 � inches.

*   Place the rounds side-by-side, alternating the primer end every other round. 

*   Tape the rounds to the cardboard using clear tape, completely covering the rounds.  There should be perpendicular strips of tape to ensure that the rounds do not come loose.

*   After securing the rounds to cardboard, place them into an appropriate sized envelope.  Seal with tamper evident tape and tag the item as usual.

Photo 1
Bullets Flat
Photo 2

Suggestion #2:   Photo #3)  

*   Using a plastic cartridge holder from a box of ammo, place the loose rounds in the middle of the holder. 

*   Using clear tape, place a strip around the item, securing the rounds into the cartridge holder.

*   After securing the rounds in the cartridge holder, place them into an appropriate sized envelope.  Seal with tamper evident tape and tag the item as usual.

Photo 3
Suggestion #3:  (See Attached Photo #4)

*Place loose rounds into an appropriate size padded  envelope - in other words the less room for loose ammo to shift and bounce around within the envelope, the better.   

*  Seal with tamper evident tape and tag the item as usual.

bulltets env
Photo 4


IAPE really appreciates Jennifer's efforts in solving a problems that appears to have impact on many property rooms
across the country.

Thanks Again





Joe Latta  

Executive Director


All New for 2013 




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April Photo of the Month - BAD!
Box Storage.

April Photo of the Month - GOOD
high density
Box Storage

IAPE continues its relationships with valuable and unique resources for our profession. Each month we will introduce  you to companies who offer products and services to improve evidence handling, processes and best practices.




Your strongest link in the chain of Custody, Spacesaver�, the trusted name in evidence storage systems has designed secure storage solutions to meet the needs of any department's evidence handling processes. Whether you require lockers for your temporary storage of evidence or need the long-term storage solution of our high-density mobile systems. Spacesaver evidence storage solutions can store the most unique objects we know you have, from now to forever. Our public safety storage solutions cover the gamut of the industry that shares a common goal: to protect and serve. Learn more about our department solutions at www.storageforgood.com<http://www.storageforgood.com>.


Avoid the Static. ActivRAC� it.
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Evidence Lockers with ControLoc� Technology
The ControLoc line of secured evidence lockers allows departments to control and review access to each individual locker location in real time. With full network capability, ControLoc� Technology from Spacesaver�, will allow authorized personnel to track and document which officers and evidence technicians access the system, which evidence lockers they entered, and the date and time of every transaction. This can be done on-site or from another building. Access to the individual evidence locker areas is gained through an access card and a numeric control pad providing the highest level of security.

To learn more about Spacesaver and all of our innovative production solutions please visit www.spacesaver.com..


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