PO Box 652 
Hot Springs SD 57747 
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Questions call us at 800-449-4273 
JANUARY  2015 - 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 to answer here, use our  Contact Us page.




Dear Joe, 


We have received an influx of food products with high THC levels.  Normal practice is not to accept food items, yet these are still considered drugs.  What are agencies doing about these food products if they are receiving them?


Our chemist advises that there is no good way to package them. Obviously, plastic is a poor choice and paper bags are bad because the oil content will contaminate other items through the paper.


We are in the beginning stages of discussing with the State's Attorney the possibility to photograph, test, and immediately destroy these items (notice provided to the defense prior to its destruction) but I have been asked to see what the industry standard is.





Dear THC,


Many of you have attended our classes both live and online. Two things I've learned over the hundreds of classes that we have presented, is that when it comes to property and evidence issues,  there are no absolute answers and  that no one does it the same!


This is new territory for all involved, and frankly, I don't have the answer. Therefore, I reached out to several colleagues around the country to get their opinions. As noted above, there is no one right answer to this issue....


From a Lab Director in South Carolina



Yes, this is now the world we live in. Ugh! The items referred to are indeed drugs, and we are testing them (e.g. butter, candy, fruit, garlic). Paper bags are not a good choice for the reason described below. Plastic is not necessarily bad, but should only be used for short-term storage. Currently there is no best practice standard - as this is new territory for everyone! I think the idea of photography (multiple shots with a scale), testing
immediately, and then destruction is right on target. The courts should understand that food/beverages even if frozen may still be subject to degradation over time, and there is a likelihood that the retained material may bear little resemblance to the originally submitted evidence. I do recommend freezing prior to analysis and after (if the State's Attorney shoots down the proposal).....



From a Lab Director in California



I had no idea what the answer was to this one, so I called our local Sheriff's Department.  Here is what they are doing:


The Sheriff's Department is packaging all these types of items into plastic heat- sealed bags.  They are aware this will cause the food/perishable to become soupy, but this is the best they have been able to do.  With the heat sealed bags, it at least maintains the item in the packaging.  They store the food at room temperature based on their storage issues.  If they had the ability to refrigerate or freeze, they would.  However, they simply do not have the storage space or funds to purchase enough equipment to store these items in this manner.  On the shelf the items are placed in plastic storage tubs.  This also helps to maintain the items in their packaging.  If the item of evidence is similar in composition to a Rice Krispy treat, they will use plastic wrap and not a heat-sealing bag. I know this is not perfect, but this is the best they can do.



From a Lab in Virginia



Packaging in plastic may be a bad idea for long-term storage because of mold. I would also caution against uniformly refrigerating food items as occasionally condensation can form inside the packaging and accelerate mold growth. When possible, freezing is probably the way to go.



There you have it. Three geographical areas of the country and they all do something slightly different. The bottom line is how does the local Crime Lab that you use want it packaged? If they say plastic - you package it in plastic. If they say paper - you package it in paper.  




Joe Latta

Executive Director  



Headline Of The Month


Headlines You Want!  Good Job! 


The Trend Continues! A trend that impacts property room


The Future

In the past several years, seven states have mandated that all sexual kits are to be tested within certain time limits,  with certain exceptions.  

In the story below you will see that the Ohio House 84-0 and the Ohio Senate passed 32-0 bills that will mandate the testing of kits. Will the governor sign? You bet. The is no longer an event, its now a trend your state may be next!  Be ready for someone asking you you have and how many haven't been tested. 


Mandatory rape kit testing approved by Ohio House


December 17, 2014

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A bill intended to clear a decades-long backlog of untested rape kits unanimously passed the Ohio House on Wednesday and will head to Gov. John Kasich's desk.



Senate Bill 316, law enforcement agencies would be required to review all cases in their possession and forward untested rape kits to the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation or other crime laboratory for DNA analysis within one year. Agencies would have to submit new rape kits to a crime lab within 30 days. The BCI must then put the DNA record into a national database.



The bill is intended to give law enforcement agencies a final push to get rape kits off their shelves. The bill does not change statutes of limitations preventing kits older than 20 years to initiate a new prosecution.Rep. Nickie Antonio, a Lakewood Democrat, urged support for the bill Wednesday night. "Going forward, we hope that justice is served quickly for the victims of sexual violence," Antonio said.


Katie Hanna, executive director of the Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence, said the bill sends a message to sexual assault survivors that every kit counts and that justice may be possible. "Next year we hope to see a bill introduced to eliminate the statute of limitations on rape, so that when 20-plus year old kits are tested and perpetrators are identified, that cases can be prosecuted after the current 20 year statute," Hanna said in an email. "We owe that to survivors and to our communities."


Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has pressed police departments to send untested rape and sexual assault examination kits to the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation under his office.


In Cuyahoga County alone, more than 230 people have been indicted due to DNA matches from the statewide initiative. Cleveland has sent more than 4,300 kits for testing.




The bill, sponsored by Democrat Sen. Capri Cafaro of Hubbard, passed the Senate 32-0 and the House 84-0.


The House also passed a bill allowing a rape or sexual assault survivor to request the attacker's parental rights to children conceived by the assault be terminated. The legislation was inspired by Ariel Castro, who requested visitation with the child he fathered with Amanda Berry, one of three women he held captive and sexually assaulted in his home. The judge denied that request.

Senate Bill 207 was unanimously approved in an 86-0 vote and now heads to Kasich's desk.2014 cleveland.com. All rights reserved 

Jackie Borchardt, Northeast Ohio Media Group    


Property & Evidence By the Book
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In This Issue
2015 Classes Posted

Las Vegas, NV
February 23 - 24, 2015
14 Seat Left
Sold Out Last 3 Years

Provo, UT
March 3 - 4, 2015

Fort Collins, CO
March 11 - 12, 2015

Sioux Falls, SD
March 24 - 25, 2015

Humble, TX
April 8 - 9 2015

Forsyth, GA  
April 21 - 22, 2015

Rockville, MD  
April 28 - 29, 2015

Miami Township, OH
May 13 - 14, 2015
Columbia, MO
June 2 - 3, 2015

Tampa, FL
June 16 - 17, 2015

Norfork, VA
June 24 - 25, 2015

Nashville, TN
July 7 - 8, 2015

Carrollton, TX
July 14 - 15, 2015

Tacoma, WA
August 4 - 5, 2015

South San Francisco
August 18 - 19, 2015

Minneapolis, MN
August 26 - 27, 2015

Albuquerque, NM
September 8 - 9, 2015

Bridgeport, PA
September 15 - 16, 2015

Tuscon, AZ
September 23-24, 2015

 Lafayette, IN
October 7 - 8, 2015

Slidell, LA 
October 19 - 20, 2015

 Portland, OR
November 3 - 4, 2015

Tilton, NH 
November 19 - 20, 2015

Burbank, CA 
December, 2015  
Being Planned

Toronto, Ontario (TBA)

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Packaging Bullets
You can't make this stuff up!
We recently received this photo from a property officer that wanted our readers to see on how an experienced officer booked in a bullet. One bullet - one finger! 

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.


WHO IS FileOnQ?        FileOnQ - One Platform, multiple solutions for managing evidence and more...


Property Room Technicians, Investigators, Prosecutors, District Attorneys and others are benefiting from the power, security and time-saving FileOnQ provides. Providing all the stake-holders access to the data, documents, images and more instantly. Significantly improving practically every action needed regarding a piece of evidence, from the time evidence it is collected until its final disposition. Saving agencies hundreds of staff hours per year, along with streamlining access to information, while enhancing security and communication.


Property Room Technicians, Investigators, Prosecutors, District Attorneys and others are benefiting from the power, security and time-saving FileOnQ provides. Providing all the stake-holders access to the data, documents, images and more instantly. Significantly improving practically every action needed regarding a piece of evidence, from the time evidence it is collected until its final disposition. Saving agencies hundreds of staff hours per year, along with streamlining access to information, while enhancing security and communication.


BEYOND THE PROPERTY ROOM: FileOnQ's flexibility and customizability allow's agencies to manage and track assets, quartermaster items, fleet vehicles, personal records and more with the same easy to use solution. 


UNLIMITED TRAINING AND SUPPORT - Beyond industry leading software, FileOnQ has a hand-picked team of former law enforcement professionals that will provide expert consulting and unlimited live and recorded (online) training classes as needed. As long as you are a FileOnQ customer the goal for the support and training provided is not just about using the software but to help agencies streamline and enhance every aspect of daily evidence management.


INTEGRATION SERVICES: Numerous agencies have fully integrated their FileOnQ solution with RMS, LIMS systems across the nation. Reducing duplication of work effort, human error, staff hours and paper work. 


Take a look at these real-world case studies[link:http://www.evidenceonq.com/news-more/case-studies.html] or watch a demo[link:http://www.evidenceonq.com/demo.html] to discover for yourself how numerous agencies that are benefiting from the solutions FileOnQ offers.


Feel free to contact us with any questions:
Joe Latta Executive Director | 800-449-4273 | jlatta@iape.org
PO Box 652  |  Hot Springs, SD 57747
International Association for Property & Evidence, Inc. | iape.org

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