PO Box 652 
Hot Springs SD 57747 

Please mail all communications to new address.  
Questions call us at 800 449 4273 or send an email to jlatta@iape.org 
October 2014 - 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 to answer here, use our Contact Us page.



Dear Joe, 


I attended the IAPE Evidence Management class hosted by the Ft. Worth Police Department in April of this year.  Since I was newly transferred to our department's property room, I found the class was most informative and educational.


A Fire Department Inspector recently came through our Property Room to conduct an inspection. Although this inspector was only doing his job, he insisted that our Property Room must abide by the rules like everybody else.

The Inspector insisted that we must be in

Knox Box

complete compliance with fire safety ordinances in our county. Specifically, the Inspector stated that we must place a key to open the fire exit doors of the Property Room inside 911 key boxes (also known as Knox Boxes as shown)located on the outside of the three doors to this facility.  I would like to know the best practice(s) regarding this matter, in the Property Room.


Thanks in advance for your cooperation and attention. 

Key Guy



Dear Key Guy,


In my personal opinion, if the Fire Department has a key, could a defense attorney argue that someone could enter and tamper with evidence in the room without the police department's knowledge?  If the answer is yes, then no potential access should be permitted. 


Furthermore, if evidence was ever found to be missing or had been tampered with, all Fire Department personnel with potential access should be included in the internal investigation.


The police department that I worked for 30 years, each patrol car had a Knox Box Key as you described that allowed access to a key that opened the protected structure.  It was inevitable that keys were lost or they could potentially be copied without permission by a friendly locksmith. 


I do know that the Fire Department could always make forcible entry in the event of a true emergency. Firefighters generally have access to the Jaws of Life, circular saws, pry bars, etc. to gain entry.


In some the cases the topic can become a political issue and become a struggle between two governmental entities. If that's the case, then the discussion needs to be made at a higher lever of the department's management.


Perhaps if the fire official was told their employees could be implicated in a subsequent theft or criminal investigation, the tone of the discussion might change.


If this reasoning does not work, perhaps the law enforcement community needs to seek legislative relief to make the Unit exempt. If none of these work I would encourage the department to install  audible alarms on the evidence room that could act as a deterrent



Joe Latta

Executive Director 


Headline Of The Month

Does your department want headlines like these? 

How Low Can You Go?

The Detroit News

October 10, 2014 


Chief Craig: Suspended Detroit cop had murder victim's watch


Detroit police homicide sergeant has been suspended after department officials found him wearing a murder victim's expensive watch.


Sgt. Alex Vinson was the officer in charge of a case several months ago involving an unknown murder victim who was found wearing an expensive, German-made watch, Detroit Police Chief James Craig confirmed.


The watch was photographed and put into storage in the Homicide Section's property room. The victim has not been identified, and the homicide case has gone cold.


This week, while Vinson was in Idaho for advanced police training, fellow homicide detectives decided to reopen the case. The detectives wanted to take another look at the watch - but when they removed the victim's belongings from the property room, the watch wasn't the same one that was photographed at the start of the case. Instead, it was a cheaper model, Craig confirmed.


The detectives quickly informed police officials about the discrepancy, Craig said.


"We were made aware of this a few nights ago and immediately initiated an internal investigation," Craig said. "We directed (Vinson) to return home."


Craig added the FBI helped police recover the watch, which Vinson was wearing during the training session. Vinson returned to Michigan Wednesday, and was read his Miranda rights by Internal Affairs officers.

"The case in ongoing, and the sergeant has been suspended while we prepare a warrant for review by prosecutors," Craig said.


Attempts to reach Vinson for comment Thursday were unsuccessful, and a call to his union, the Lieutenants and Sergeants Association, was not returned.


Best Practices Would Suggest That All Evidence Be Stored In The Evidence Room And Signed Out When Needed For Investigative Purposed  (IAPE)


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 !
Video Specials
All New
and receive a copy of:

Property and Evidence By The Book

By Joseph Latta

Book is available by PDF link when you
purchase either video module

The Property Room 
Before IAPE Training 
"If, you always do what you always did; you'll always get what you always got"

The Property Room
After IAPE Training 
"If, you stop doing what you always did, you'll get this"

 Notice the amount of recaptured space when "convenience envelopes" are used with properly spaced shelves and properly sized storage bins!   

Become Accredited!

IAPE Property & Evidence Room Accreditation
Increase your value!
In This Issue
Class Schedule
Classes Filling Up
Portland, OR
November 4 - 5, 2014

* Contact IAPE to be added to Wait List
Deptford, NJ
November 18 - 19, 2014
Only 5 seats left 

Burbank, CA
December 2 - 3, 2014
Only 15 seats left

Toronto, Ontario
December 9 - 10, 2014

2015 Classes Posted

Las Vegas, NV
February 23 - 24, 2015

Provo, UT
March 3 - 4, 2015

Fort Collins, CO
March 11 - 12, 2015

Sioux Falls, SD
March 24 - 25, 2015

Harris County, TX
April 2014
Date To Be Announced

Forsyth, GA  
April 21-22, 2015

Montgomery, Co, MD  
April 28 - 29, 2015

Miami Township, OH
May 13 - 14, 2015
Columbia, MO
June 2 - 3, 2015

Norfork, VA
June 2015
Date To Be Announced

Tampa, FL
June 2015
Date To Be Announced

Carrollton, TX
June 14 - 15, 2015

Tacoma, WA
August 4 - 5, 2015

Tuscon, AZ
September 23-24, 2015

Being Planned

South San Francisco, CA

Minneapolis, MN

Burbank, CA

Bridgeport, PA

and more

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Evidence Log Magazine

Where in the World
Is Joe Today?


Click the to find out where Joe is traveling and keep up to date with current property and evidence happenings 

IAPE continues its relationships with valuable and unique resources for our profession. Each month we will introduce  you to companies who offer products and services to improve evidence handling, processes and best practices.

ERIN, or Evidence Room Information Network,

is a totally new and simple to use software system for managing and tracking your inventory. Our team at ERIN Technology has many years of experience and we are dedicated to law enforcement's needs in this area.


A few key elements make our system unique: built from the ground up with only the latest technology such as Microsoft.NET and SQL Server insures your investment for many years to come without the need for major upgrades; the ability to use the software either on a server at your site or hosted by us; plus the ability to customize much of the system to your specific agencies' needs. Users have told us they find the layout and flow of the system to be modern and productive compared to other systems they have looked at.


Our technical people are experts at data conversion. We have assisted hundreds of clients move data from one system to another, so we are very comfortable assisting any agency with this process. We also offer those agencies wanting to evaluate ERIN, a free trial of the system and conversion of your existing data. 


Contact ERIN Technology at sales@erintechnology.com 

Feel free to contact us with any questions:
Joe Latta Executive Director | 800-449-4273 | jlatta@iape.org
PO Box 652  |  Hot Springs, SD 57747
International Association for Property & Evidence, Inc. | iape.org

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