FEBRUARY 2019 - IAPE Monthly Newsletter
Ask Joe...
Each month, IAPE's primary instructor, Joe Latta, answers one of your questions. Consider writing us if you have a question that needs an answer. We would love to hear from you.
To submit a question for Joe  Contact Us 
Dear Joe,
I was recently promoted to property after nine years as records clerk. I am enjoying my new position, and I will be attending your class in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in April. I am currently undertaking the enormous project of reorganizing the gun vault. I have come across many firearms from suicide cases. My captains have not decided on a policy for releasing/destroying these guns. Considering some suicides were as far back as 2012, it may look insensitive or strange to suddenly send a petition letter to the family. How long should we hold guns after a suicide case has been closed? Thank you!

Thank you,

Dear Kitty,

When it comes to gun suicides, there are NO good answers as most state statutes do not address this issue. There are way too many "What ifs, when it comes to suicide with guns. Some  departments will keep a year or two and then discuss with the case officer. In some cases, ask the local prosecutor for opinions. Unfortunately,  they just get forgotten, which suggests  an annual review is probably the best way to start. Obviously, a suicide when the victim has terminal cancer along with a note to loved one is much easier to evaluate and a quick adjudication may be much easier. No cancer, no note, a divorce along with a. $1,000,000 insurance policy may be a different outcome. Each case has to be handled on the facts.  

Some suicides are obviously suicides and sometime they get a little blurry.  A good policy to always follow is to ensure the gun is signed off by the case officer and maybe the supervisor and possible concurrence with legal counsel.  

Hope this gives you a little direction.



I f you are one that follows us on our website IAPE.org or on 
you would have noticed that we continuously post news stories related to the good, bad, and unusual happenings in our property rooms in the  United States and Canada. We try and post any stories related to arrests where DNA is a part of the forensic solution, especially 20, 30 and 40 year cold case homicides.

Our intention is to continuously remind our property room professionals that we may be sitting on a treasure trove of old evidence that has been forgotten about in old unsolved cold case murders or sexual assaults. There is a very good likelihood  that all of the involved parties may have left the department for one reason or another and the 40 year case has been forgotten.

It is not unusual to post 5 - 10 stories a week on various topics. Unfortunately, I recently noted an uptick in Police Chiefs and Sheriffs making the headlines and losing their jobs due to a property room issue.  In just the last 6 months, 8 police administrators have found out what a liability the property room can be (See below links). For the eighteen month prior to August, there have been to another 2 dozen property room scandals at the very top of the organizations with job loss and jail. Please feel free to share these links with your department managers. Visit the IAPE NEWS page for more articles.

National Institute of Justice Funding Update

New Solicitation: Postconviction Testing of DNA Evidence, Fiscal Year 2019

With this solicitation, NIJ seeks proposals for funding to assist in defraying the costs associated with postconviction DNA testing in cases of violent felony offenses (as defined by State law) in which actual innocence might be demonstrated.

Funds may be used to identify and review such postconviction cases, and to locate and analyze associated biological evidence.

All applications are due by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on May 6, 2019.
Applicants must  register with Grants.gov prior to submitting an application.

Become a 
Certified Evidence Specialist

Along with the IAPE's extensive  evidence training courses, the IAPE offers our members the opportunity to become Certified Property and Evidence Specialists. 

Certification is available to our law enforcement agency members as well as our corporate members. The designation of CPES or CCPES indicates that the holder is a professional who has completed requirements in training; has worked in the field for a required period of time; and has demonstrated their knowledge of professional standards through a written test. More than 2,000 IAPE members have achieved the CPES or CCPES designation.

Got a Job? 
Need a Job?

IAPE is delighted to announce that we have a new section for posting a job announcement or checking job opportunities.


March 4 - 5, 2019
March 19 - 20, 2019
April 2 - 3, 2019
April 4, 2019

April 16 - 17, 2019
April 30 - May 1, 2019
May 7 - 8, 2019
May 15 - 16, 2019
May 22 - 23, 2019

Fort Collins, CO
June 4, 2019

June 4 - 5, 2019

June 11 - 12, 2019
June 18 - 19, 2019
June 24 - 25, 2019

July 23 - 24, 2019

August 5 - 6, 2019
August 13 - 14, 2019

August 21 - 22, 2019

September 11 - 12, 2019
October 2 - 3, 2019
October 16 - 17, 2019

November 4 - 5, 2019

November 14 - 15, 2019

December 3 - 4, 2019


Can't Travel?
IAPE also offers

Save money on lodging, meals and travel!

To learn more about the IAPE's ONLINE TRAINING 
or to register please visit:

Call for details on
 sponsoring a class!