MAY 2020 - IAPE Monthly Newsletter
Ask Joe...
Each month, IAPE's primary instructor and Executive Director, 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,
While recently doing our first inventory,  we found a number of untagged items on the shelf with no labels, tags or other markings. We have no idea what the item belongs to and we have a horrible computer system that won't let us search by item descriptions, such as rock, any suggestions?

Thank you,

Dear Rocky,

First things first:
Let's assume you have a satisfactory computer system and can search by description, that's the first step. Now, if that doesn't work, your next option is to check your UTL (unable to locate) Files (most everyone has UTL file). The UTL file has records (paper or electronic) with "stuff" that couldn't be found years ago and no one has ever attempted to investigate where the item(s) are. 
There might be a record of a rock in the UTL file and you have a rock with no label or tag located on the shelf. Is it possible you have linked the two together? 

Let us assume you have the item and can't find the record. If you're interested in purging the item, consider writing a Found Property Report and book in system as Found Property. 
The report might read - On May 29 th , 2020 while conducting an inventory of the property room the described rock was located on Shelf 3-A with no marking, labels or tags. After conducting a thorough search of all records and locations, the described item couldn't be linked with an active or closed case and subsequently booked as Found Property. The next step is to wait the required statutory time, usual 30, 60 , 90 days and dispose of in accordance with policy.  

Note: if you can link the item (rock) to a case, it may be near impossible to introduce into any court proceedings without a challenge if the defense was aware of the issue. To provide one more safeguard, always consider attaching a digital photo to the record, prior to final disposal.

Joe Latta
Executive Director

  News:  Events and Trends
Commentary: The following story was recently published on and I have taken the liberty hypothetically to change the headline from Grocery Store to Property Room. The concepts of handling boxes and packages is quite similar to the handling of products in the store. 

I'm sure we will never see this question asked about a property room or evidence handling, so I have included the below article about the use of gloves while shopping at the store and compare with working in the Property Room. Some interesting thoughts in the article that we may learn from another industry. I must emphasize, the glove discussion is entirely related to the COVET-19 concerns, not DNA contamination issues or dealing with bio evidence.


Do You Need to Wear Gloves at the Grocery Store? OR PROPERTY ROOM?
 May 11, 2020

"Our experience with food has changed dramatically in a matter of a few weeks (along with everything else in life) because of COVID-19 .  We're cooking at home more than ever before, and grocery shopping has become one of the few essential errands we leave the house for. Armed with our long shopping list and a face mask, we head out wondering if there's anything else we can do to protect ourselves.

One question that keeps coming up is - Should you wear gloves at the grocery store ?
The short answer is no .  You do not need any kind of gloves at the grocery store. 

Gl oves will not protect you . If you touch a contaminated surface, the virus can transfer to your glove just like it could transfer to your fingers, so there's no added protection from the gloves. If you touch your mouth or nose with the glove, you can pass the virus to yourself. And taking the gloves off after shopping is an especially vulnerable moment, as you can easily transfer any germs on the gloves to your hands and face if you're not careful.

The reality is you're much more likely to catch the coronavirus from the respiratory droplets of a person talking or sneezing near you rather than from an item you touch at the store - that's why physical distancing is so important. To protect yourself at the grocery store, wear a cloth face mask and keep a minimum 6-foot distance from others. Plan your grocery trip so you can get in an out quickly during quiet times to minimize contact with others.

Gloves do not replace hand hygiene . Given that gloves don't protect you from the virus, wearing gloves doesn't save you time from hand washing. You still have to keep up with hand hygiene. That's the most important way to remove the virus from your hands.

To protect yourself, you'll want to use hand sanitizer as you enter and exit the grocery store and wipe down your shopping cart handle with a disinfectant. When you get home, wash your hands well with soap and water for 20 seconds. And clean any other items that might be dirty, like your phone and reusable grocery bags.

Gloves do not protect others . As you move about the grocery store, the gloves can get dirty from whatever you touch and transfer it along to others - just as your fingers would.

To protect others, touch as little as possible while you're out. Don't pick up produce and then put it back down.
Save the medical gloves Medical gloves are meant for protection when you're in high risk situations, like if you're exposed to bodily fluids like blood, mucous, vomit and urine. The gloves protect patients, caregivers, and health care workers all day long from tasks at home like washing the laundry of a person sick with COVID-19, to tests and procedures at the hospital. For grocery shopping, the gloves don't add benefit and aren't necessary. Given medical gloves are in short supply, just as medical face masks are, please use gloves wisely."


Need Training Right Now?

The Full online course class option is a great choice if you want much of the same training as the Live classes but without the travel and time away from the department. The IAPE Property and Evidence Management video Course is approximately 14 hours in length  and was prepared by Law Enforcement Personnel for Law Enforcement Personnel. Completion of the course meets the training requirements for becoming a Certified Property and Evidence Specialist (CPES).

Below is a listing of our individual class options for those who may have limited time and want to get specific training in the most needed areas within the evidence room.

This video provides material useful to Property Room personnel as well as Auditors regarding the preparation for and procedure of conducting an audit of the Property Room. Additionally you will also learn various aspects of conducting inventories and how they differ from audits.

Security Video:  This video focuses on the best ways to secure your Property Room as well as common mistakes that you should avoid. You will also learn about many types of products and procedures which will enhance the security of your facility. INCLUDES SPECIAL BONUS VIDEO ON ELECTRONIC SECURITY.

Documentation, Chain of Custody and Automation:  These 2 video modules provide an understanding of the Chain of Custody within the property room, along with an overview of the various internal controls needed to properly track and manage you evidence when it leaves your department for court, crime lab or out for investigations . Additionally, the video also discusses the advantages of automating the tracking process, Found Property and Property for Safekeeping.



June 24 - 25, 2020

July 15 - 16, 2020

July 20 - 21, 2020

Supervisor Class
July 22, 2020

August 3 - 4, 2020

August 10 - 11, 2020

August 19 - 20, 2020

September 1 - 2, 2020

September 15 - 16 , 2020

September 21 - 22, 2020

Supervisor Class
September 23, 2020

Sept. 30 - Oct. 1, 2 020
2 Seats Left

October 6 - 7, 2020

October 13 - 14, 2020

October 21 - 22, 2020

November 9 - 10, 2020

November 12 - 13, 2020
9 Seats Left

November 17 - 18, 2020

December 7 - 8, 2020

December 15 - 16, 2020
15 Seats Left

Got a Job? 
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Become a 
Certified Evidence Specialis t

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 law enforcement agency members as well as 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.