October 2017 - 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 am working on a presentation you may be interested in, and I would really appreciate your feedback.  We had a couple of Evidence Specialists start feeling ill after handling an opioid package.  This caused us to really think through our safety and intake procedures in the light of the Fentanyl problem.  We now have in place procedures where we can better isolate potential hazards and protect ourselves in securing them. 

For instance, isolating all pills, powders and capsules from other evidence in independent lockers, utilizing PPE when checking all lockers, securing the packages of said drugs in larger see through plastic bags to be able to see the item, but safely store and handle, decontaminating lockers after those drugs are removed, decontaminating the cart that is utilized once the packages are safe, and safely discarding the PPE for destruction.  We have all received NARCAN and CPR training and have NARCAN and an AED we can utilize.  No one will clear the lockers alone, someone will always be standing nearby.  We have purchased a fume hood that deputies will be able to better safely package these types of drugs in (once installed, trained and the procedure written).  If an accidental exposure occurs, we need to remove the victim from the environment, call 911, treat if necessary, isolate the contaminated area, call hazmat if necessary to safely secure the package, etc. 
Robert L. Martin
Manager, Property and Evidence Unit
Seminole County Sheriff's Office

Dear Robert,

Almost on a daily basis we are getting inquiries about the handling of Fentanyl. Most of the news stories that we have found is related to collection and packaging, however, there has been minimal info available for the handling of Fentanyl in the Property Room so your information is extremely valuable to the property officers.
Thank you so very much for the information that you and your staff developed. I must say the information is outstanding for those that work in the property room and I am going to share with all with your permission.
IAPE member please select the image and download the Seminole County Sheriff's Office Protocols   for Handling Fentanyl in the Property Room


Headline of the Month

WDSU Investigates: New problems at NOPD property and evidence room

October 12, 2017

More problems have appeared inside the New Orleans Police Department's property and evidence room.

Exclusive pictures from inside that facility show snakes, rodents and possible mold. The latest discovery comes after NOPD officials have tried for years to upgrade the facility, which has been riddled with problems.
A police department spokesperson acknowledged the issues, and was quick to point out that the department is leasing the building. Officials said they will continue to work with the property owner to fix the problems.

WDSU Investigates obtained pictures from inside the Central City facility. One shows what appears to be mold on a ceiling. Another shows drug bags that look as if they've been damaged by rodents.

The images WDSU has brought to our attention, while disturbing, are atypical for the space and we are working with our partners to immediately deal with the problem. As part of ongoing efforts to modernize the department and invest in a 21st century police force, the NOPD will be moving the property room into the new evidence and processing center, currently in the design phase, on track for groundbreaking by the end of the year. The new facility will be a state-of-the-art investment upgrading the NOPD's infrastructure and building on the city's commitment to providing our men and women with all the tools they need."

The Louisiana chapter of the ACLU has concerns over how rodents can damage evidence.

"There are chemical changes too, if you have animals chewing them -- evidence -- and there is saliva. It changes the chemistry and diminishes the value of evidence as it was intended, and it is a serious problem," said ACLU executive director Marjorie Esman.

"The integrity of the evidence is crucial to the integrity of a property and evidence room and, clearly if rodents are chewing or leaving their droppings and there is a mold, this is a threat to the evidence in the evidence room," said Katherine Mattes, a law school professor at Tulane University who worked on a plan years ago to help the city upgrade the facility.

No date is set as to when the NOPD will break ground on their own city-owned facility. Tidwell said it will be by year's end.

In 2008 my consulting company Evidence Control Systems, Inc. had the opportunity to provide recommendations on how to better the NOPD Property Room after Katrina. Fast forward, 9 years later they may be breaking ground by the end of the year. Government at its finest! Check out the conditions today.
(View the included movie about the present conditions and the infestation of rats, possums and snakes and how some of the issues that property room professionals have to deal with. 

Sexual Assault Kits

2017 Classes

November 7 - 8, 2017
 Only 7 Seats Left

November 14 - 15, 2017
Only 14 Seats Left

December 4 - 5, 2017

2018 Classes 
February 26  - 27, 2018

March 13 - 14, 2017

March 28 - 29, 2018

April 4 - 5, 2018

April 17 - 18, 2018

May 9 - 10, 2018

May 15 - 16, 2017

May 22 - 23, 2018

June 6 - 7, 2018

June 20 - 21, 2017

Classes Being Planned

Salt Lake City, UT 

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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.