June 2013
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Dear Joe,



Hi Joe, this is Kari "Up On The Mountain". Our department has two motorcycle helmets in the property room from an injury traffic accident from a 2009 case. There were no criminal charges filled against either driver. At the present time have been advised that there is a pending civil case, but the department has no relationship to the civil case. 


Do we have any obligation to retain the evidence in a civil case,  if the city or department is not a part of the litigation or the party's have not been charged? How long do I have to keep them?


Thanks, Kari "On The Mountain"



Dear Kari, "On The Mountain"


I am 100% sure that if you ask 100 attorneys around the county you will get just as many responses and opinions. Absent any legal requirements, which there could be, let me provide a few ideas that I have seen in our travels.


Some departments require the owner's attorney's to find a private storage facility. In a recent Google Search of "Storage of evidence insurance companies", I found numerous companies that provide this type of service for a fee.


Another option is for the city / county to develop storage fees schedule for this type property to remain in their possession. This process may require the city / county to pass a resolution for this type of service. In Massachusetts, there are companies that store firearms that have been turned over to the police due to court orders. Send a letter to both Attorneys and tell them they have to find a suitable location!

Out Of The Box
Thinking Out Of The Box

Joe Latta  

News Story Of the Month

Supreme Court: Police Can Take DNA Samples in Arrests

WASHINGTON-A divided Supreme Court held Monday that police can take DNA samples from people under arrest in the hope of tying them to unrelated crimes, in a ruling that touched both on fast-changing technology and age-old issues of citizens' rights against state searches.


Authorities previously have been able to take such samples from convicted felons, whom courts consider to possess minimal privacy rights. At issue Monday was whether people who merely have been arrested-and may ultimately be released or acquitted of the charges that led to their arrest-also must submit to a cheek swab that would be matched against a nationwide DNA database of evidence from unsolved crimes. That practice, currently followed by 28 states and the federal government, allowed police in Wicomico County, Md., to link Alonzo King, arrested in 2009 for assault with a shotgun, with an unsolved 2003 rape. He later was convicted of the rape and sentenced to life in prison.


The Maryland Court of Appeals, the state's highest court, voided the rape conviction. It held that the state law providing for taking arrestees DNA samples violated the Fourth 


Amendment, which generally requires police to demonstrate probable cause that an individual has committed a crime before they can search him or her.


While police had probable cause to arrest Mr. King on the assault charge, they had no reason to suspect him of the unrelated rape, and thus the Maryland court found the DNA search unconstitutional.


Monday's 5-4 Supreme Court opinion, by Justice Anthony Kennedy, sided with prosecutors, who have justified DNA sampling as a method to confirm an arrestee's identity as well as an invaluable tool in solving cold cases.


Complete story from the Wall Street Journal 


Does this court ruling make the retention of DNA even more important?  


All New 
for 2013 




Class Schedule

In 2012 over 1/2 the classes were sold out    

Harris Co, TX  
June 25 - 26, 2013 
(1 seats left)

So. Burlington, VT 
July 9 - 10, 2013 
(7 seats left)

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July 23 - 24, 2013
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Moline, IL 
August 7 - 8, 2013 
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August 13 - 14, 2013
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August 27 - 28, 2013
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September 10 - 11, 2013

Warren, OH 
September 23 - 24, 2013

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September 26 - 27, 2013
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October 1 - 2, 2013
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Sandy, UT 
October 16 - 17, 2013

Gwinnett Co,  GA
October 29 - 30, 2013

Portland, OR
November 5 - 6, 2013

Harvey, LA (New Orleans) 
November 19 - 20, 2013

Burbank, CA
December 3 - 4, 2013

Fort Collins, CO 
December 9 - 10 , 2013 
Las Vegas, NV
February 24 - 25, 2014
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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.





The PERCS Index specializes in bar code solutions for Police agencies.  They utilize the latest in technology to make the tracking and management of Evidence as straightforward as possible.  They also provide solutions for the problem of tracking equipment going in and out of the agency with their Equipment Tracker.  If tracking files is a problem, then our File Tracker will provide the solution.  Other products specifically designed for the unique requirements of the Police environment includes the controlling of fixed assets with our Asset Manager and their only non-bar code solution used my many agencies is our Quarter Master system


For more information, go to their website www.percs.com   and go through the online Video Presentation, or give David Miller a call at 866-461-4669.


Visit our website The PERCS INDEX and see our locker products.



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