March 2018 - 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 would like to touch base with you regarding marrying items of evidence for a case.  I came from an agency that when we had a case with multiple items, we would find a shelf or box and place all f the individually packaged items in that one central location unless it was money, guns or drugs.   Is this a best practice recommended by IAPE?

I know of other agencies that spread items from a case to various areas.  For example, a case that had photos, videos, clothing, found property and a cell phone, all items would be stored in different locations.  My concern is that spreading the items apart has a higher potential for misplacing items or not being able to find them in a timely fashion.  Which method would you recommend?  

Thank you,
Mary Apart

Dear Mary,

Great questions.  I am going to say that everything has a place.  I will first address your concern regarding spreading things out because they may get misplaced.  The national average number of items per case is 2.5 items, so not much would be spread out.

When setting up a Property Room, it is important to utilize every cubic inch.  When you have the ability to store evidence by size, you can recapture a significant amount of storage space and reduce retrieval time.  

Anytime you have to dig through boxed and bins to find something, you increase your labor cost exponentially. 

I retired from an agency with 175 officers and the inventory was about 15,000 items.  90% of the evidence could be located, retrieved and taken to the counter for release in less than two minutes.  The reason for the fast retrieval time was because of using uniform sized packaging and then filed in drawers, bins and shelves designed for each size package.  Cardboard boxes cut down with a razor will accomplish the same bin configuration.

Typically 60% of items could fit into a 10"x13" envelope. However, many items would fit into a 6"x9" or a 3"x4" package.  At the agency I retired from most of the evidence received was in a heat-sealed pouch.  When the evidence was received and validated, the evidence officer placed the pouches in the smallest envelope possible. 

If an officer booked in a wallet, phone, hat and keys, they may be in 4 appropriately sized pouches and all placed into a larger 6"x9" manilla envelope.  In cases with multiple larger items a 10"x13" envelope could be used.

Small envelopes were referred to as "A" envelopes and stored in "A" bins by case number.  The other locations were medium or "B" envelopes, and the large envelopes were "C" envelopes.  60% of the evidence was stored in 3 locations "A", "B" and "C".

If an officer arrests a burglar and 15 items, the officer would tag and bag each item and if they didn't fit in an envelope, the offer would then use of or two grocery bags when are also referred to as convenience containers. 

If the case had 100 small items from a crime scene, all of the items would be individually packaged and stored in the "convenience box."  If all of the items are stored in case order, the scheme of the room has 3 locations for envelopes, 2 locations for bags and 1 location for boxes.  All stored in case number order.

Guns could be stored in gun boxes in case number order, where they are divided into two locations, handguns and long guns.

90% of drugs will generally fit into a 6"x9" envelope, so there are two locations in the drug storage area - drug envelopes and drug containers.  

Don't worry about spreading evidence out.  Having storage schemes that evidence is logically stored and you won't lose anything. 

In review, If a phone is booked into today and in 3 days the detective requests to see it, and your computer is down, where would you look?  The phone likely would have been too big for an "A" envelope and too small for a "C" envelope, so you know it should have been packaged in a "B" envelope.  If it was packaged properly and then stored properly in the "B" envelope section by case number order, you should be able to find it quickly.
Joe Latta
Executive Director

Important Grant News From The U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance 

Exciting news: Another round of federal funding is now available to help local and state jurisdictions working to address their backlog of untested rape kits and bring justice to survivors.

The U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance is now accepting applications for Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) grants, which can be used to count, track, and test kits; address training needs; investigate and prosecute cases; improve victim engagement and support; and collect lawfully owned DNA from offenders. 

Joyful Heart is grateful to federal government leaders for their sustained commitment to the SAKI program. This funding is now more critical than ever. Across the country, survivors, advocates, elected officials, and the general public are demanding accountability and transparency in the rape kit handling process.
If you have untested kits in your jurisdiction, we encourage you to apply for this important federal funding. Applying for resources to take on this work demonstrates a commitment to rape kit reform in your community.
The deadline to apply is April 30, 2018. Please share this opportunity with all those who may be eligible- state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies; prosecutor's offices; or other government agencies. For more information, please consult the solicitation with Joyful Heart.  


Property Room


Be On The Look Out 

We are currently planning 4 Supervisor classes starting in August 2018.  Dates and Locations to be announced shortly.

IAPE is proud to announce the  one-day Property and Evidence Management training class for SUPERVISORS, which has been developed for anyone that is assuming the responsibility of the property and evidence unit. 

2018 Classes 

April 4 - 5, 2018
5 Seats Left

Northbrook, IL
April 11 - 13, 2018

April 17 - 18, 2018

May 9 - 10, 2018

May 15 - 16, 2018
17 Seats Left

May 22 - 23, 2018
14 Seats Left

June 6 - 7, 2018

June 20 - 21, 2018

June 26 - 27, 2018

 July 17 - 18, 2018
13 Seats Left

 July 30 - 31, 2018

August 13 - 14, 2018

August 21 - 22, 2018

August 28 - 29, 2018

September 11 - 12, 2018

September 25 - 26, 2018

October 2 - 3, 2018

October 16 - 17, 2018

December 4 - 5, 2018

Classes Still Being Planned 
 in 2018

Meridian, Idaho
Portland, OR

Can't Travel?
IAPE also offers

Save money on lodging, meals
and transportation.
To learn more about the IAPE's  ONLINE TRAINING 
or to register please visit:
Call for details on
 sponsoring a class!

IAPE Property & Evidence Room Accreditation
Increase your value!
IAPE Property and Evidence Room Accreditation© is available for all law enforcement agencies who have responsibility for property and evidence received and maintained in the normal scope of their operation.

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