March  2015 - IAPE Monthly Newsletter
Ask Joe and Headline


Good Morning Mr. Latta,

I have a question for you.....

My records department want to store reports(whic h need to be kept for 10 years) in our property room. Is this a good idea? They will not have access to the room and will have to ask me if and when they need the box pulled. I am not thrilled about the idea of them storing boxes in the property/evidence warehouse.

Does this compromise the integrity of the property/evidence? Would there be a reason not to store the records in the same location?  I am working on getting myself and our property room certified and want to maintain the integrity of the evidence.  I would appreciate your input. Thank you!

Ann Marie


Dear, Ann Marie,

The evidence room should be for evidence. Bringing in supplies, equipment and "records is certainly not the Best Practice.

One box on the top shelf in the back of the room could be argued as not a big concern. When there are dozens of boxes of records that are taking valuable real estate and requiring you to assist in retrieval and or escorting personnel to retrieve the records, now interfers with your assigned duties.

The IAPE standard discourages items other than evidence stored in an Evidence Room. A separate area outside the Evidence Room for the storage of records for Record Personnel only having access would be preferred.

IAPE Professional Standards - 5.4,  indirectly covers your question when dealing with equipment and supplies, not necessarily archived records. I believe that the Evidence Room is for evidence and nothing else.

Storing supplies, equipment and records is not the best practice and one could argue that the area is compromised if records personnel are required to routinely enter the area to retrieve.  

The storage of departmental supplies and equipment, such as uniforms, vests, holsters, tactical gear, flashlights, batteries, etc. are often included with evidence storage duties. While the Quartermaster or Supply Sergeant duties have many similarities with evidence retention, and are compatible as a related duty, the two functions are separate and should not be grouped together in one area. Supplies are not evidence and should not be commingled.

Hope this helps,

Joe Latta
Executive Director

Headline Of The Month


Headline That Illustrates Poor Internal Controls When Dealing With Pills Drop Programs  


January 19, 2015 

The Republic


Prescott Valley police commander resigns amid investigation


A Prescott Valley police commander resigned earlier this month amid allegations that he stole drugs from a police evidence locker.


A 20-year veteran of the department, resigned on Jan. 2, the same day he was placed on administrative leave with pay.


His one-line resignation letter to the police chief read, "I am tendering my resignation from the Prescott Valley Police Department effective immediately."


The Commander was under investigation in the theft of prescription drugs from the department's evidence room, according to, a spokesman with the department. The drugs had been voluntarily surrendered by people who wanted them safely destroyed, and they were stored in a special vault.


In November, department personnel noticed that drugs were missing from the vault, which prompted Chief Bryan Jarrell to install a motion-activated still camera and a hidden surveillance camera in the drug vault.


Police say the Commander was photographed removing prescription drugs from the discard box on Dec. 30 and Dec. 31. He was immediately informed that he was under investigation and placed on administrative leave. Instead, he chose to resign.


Jarrell asked the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office to conduct a review of the incident. The results of the investigation were submitted to the Mohave County Attorney's Office on Jan. 16.


Stebbins said the police department also conducted an internal audit of the drug evidence vault following the incident and inspected more than 3,400 items.


The audit revealed that no criminal cases involving drugs or narcotics were compromised, he said. The spokesman said the Commander has 

has cooperated fully throughout the course of the investigation.


"The tragedy of this incident is that a good, honest, decent person became another victim to the power and control of addiction," according to a press release issued by the department. "It illustrates the fact that addiction makes people do things they never would have done otherwise."


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