November 2013 - IAPE Monthly Newsletter


 Property and Evidence Video Class
(Full Management Cass, Audits and Inventory or Security)
and receive a free copy of  
Property and Evidence By The Book
Download Online - with purchase   
a $29 Value
Valid through 12/31/13
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:


I was a recent participant in your class held in Polk County Florida. I had asked you a question in regards to placing evidence in Space Bags and vacuum sealing them. I wanted to know if that would compromise the evidence placed in the bag such as 
drugs or maybe a sweatshirt with DNA. 

Keep in mind, I work at the Clerk of Courts, so I get the evidence after it has already been tested and submitted in the trial. My job is to preserve it and keep it until the sentence is concluded in case of appeal. I would appreciate any information you can give me on the matter.

Thank you very much 
Shannon In Florida



Dear Shannon in Florida,  


As you may recall from an earlier newsletter, I had the opportunity to work on a two year project with NIJ and NIST in the development of The Biological Evidence Preservation Handbook - Best Practices for Evidence Handler. With the contacts that I made with this project I sent your inquiry to three folks from the scientific community and I have included their  responses.


"regarding packaging of biological evidence in plastic with vacuum sealing - No Go
! Virtually all drug evidence (botanicas) of all description and even powders) should not be retained in this way either because of their water content and thus the opportunity for degradation (mold, liquefaction, etc)."


"I wouldn't - even though the lab may have already tested it, the defense could at some point request to conduct their own test and they could then challenge the integrity of the evidence".


"I suspect the use of plastic and vacuum sealing is for space considerations. The evidence may still require additional testing when appeals are brought forth at a future date therefore from our working group discussions, this evidence should be packaged in paper bags". 

"Vacuum sealing and plastic containers is not condoned".


"Since our group was focused on biological evidence, the drug packaging would only fall into our auspice if biological material is suspected on the original wrapping".


As you can see the scientific world has some very convincing arguments for not using Space Bags. However, the question was related to DNA and possible later testing. Do we have evidence in our property rooms where DNA may not be an issue and possibly the bags could be an option. For example you are retaining a large quantify of a  transients clothing, while they are serving time in jail. 




Joe Latta
News Story of the Month

Cleveland's police chief explains backlog in DNA testing involving rape kits

CLEVELAND - Cleveland's police chief appeared before the Public Safety Committee of Cleveland City Council Wednesday to explain how thousands of rape kits containing DNA evidence went untested for years.

Rape kits are obtained from victims of sexual assaults and can contain vital DNA evidence that can help link rape suspects to sexual assaults.


Cleveland Police Chief Michael McGrath defended his department's handling of rape kits saying, "DNA testing was not even the norm in Ohio until 2002."

An exclusive 5 On Your Side investigation last February revealed that Cleveland was among other cities across Ohio that stored rape kits on police department shelves for years without testing.


Since then, Cleveland has submitted 2,164 rape kits for testing that have resulted in 61 indictments by the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office.

McGrath told the committee that, in January 2010, he directed that all rape kits be submitted for testing to a state crime lab.


McGrath said that led to a backlog of testing until a new sexual assault initiative was launched by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.


"So, in 2012, when Attorney General Mike DeWine came on board, he was made aware of this and he took the necessary measures to insure that he had the equipment and the staffing to test these particular kits," said McGrath.


McGrath said he has also dedicated four police detectives to a special cold-case unit operated by the prosecutor's office.


Cleveland police estimate another 1,836 rape kits will ultimately be sent for testing. A must watch video 

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Property & Evidence By the Book
2nd edition

Property and Evidence By The Book 2

The only book of its kind. Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Managing a Property and Evidence Room

Special Prices For Members!

Property & Evidence FORMS By the Book

Book Cover Over 25 property room forms that can be modified by you, the property room professionals!
are completely modifiable in Microsoft Word. The forms are also saved in a PDF format that provides the user the ability to fill in the boxes and use immediately

Special Prices For Members !
Photo of the Month


Bikes In Restroom - Bad!

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Dues will remain the same at $50
First notice will be emailed by
Mid December

In This Issue
Become Accredited!

All new for 2013
IAPE Property & Evidence Room Accreditation
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2013 - 2014 Class Schedule
In 2013 more than 1/2 of the classes were Sold Out! 

Burbank, CA
December 3 - 4, 2013
(sold out)

Fort Collins, CO
December 9 - 10 , 2013
 (5 seats left)

Classes being Scheduled
2014 Classes 
Las Vegas, NV
February 24 - 25, 2014

Richmond, VA
March 12 - 13,  2014
Limited Space

Ocean View, DE
March 26 - 27 2014
Limited Space

Plainfield, IN
April 8 - 9, 2014

Fort Worth, TX
April 23 - 24, 2014
(corrected date)

Nashville, Tn
April 30 - May 1, 2014

Allegheny Co, PA 
May 14 - 15, 2014

Miami, FL
May 21 - 22, 2014

Springfield, IL
June 18 - 19, 2014,

Charlotte, NC
June 25 - 26, 2014

Overland Park, KS
July 15 - 16, 2014

Madison, WI
July 29 - 30, 2014

South San Francisco
August 5 - 6, 2014

Meridian, OH
August 19 - 20, 2014

Anchorage, AL
Summer, 2014

Columbia, SC
September 9 - 10, 2014

West Des Moines, IA
September 24 - 25 2014

Minneapolis, MN 
October 1 - 2, 2014

Sanford, ME
October 7 - 8, 2014 

Portland, OR
November 4 - 5, 2014

Burbank, CA
December 2014

Much More Coming

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Book is available by PDF link when you watch the class.

Feel free to contact us with any questions:
Joe Latta Executive Director | 800-449-4273 | jlatta@iape.org
903 N San Fernando Blvd 4  |  Burbank, CA 91504
International Association for Property & Evidence, Inc. | iape.org

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