Property and Evidence Rooms in the News

From items gone missing to cash unexpectedly found, police department's property and evidence rooms frequent the headlines. Here's just a few from the last month.

Former North Slope police chiefs face investigations over reports of missing evidence

December 31, 2015 — Barrow, Ala. — An officer describing himself as a "whistleblower" has accused two former police chiefs at the North Slope Borough Police Department of covering up missing items in the department's evidence room. Federal and state agencies have begun an investigation into the claims.

January 7, 2016 — Clarksdale, Miss. — The Clarksdale Press Register reported earlier this month that that the Clarksdale Police Department's evidence room has seen significant improvement, becoming more organized with a new evidence tracking system.

January 22, 2016 — Beloit, Wis. — An independent review of the Beloit Police Department revealed critical issues, including five missing guns and drugs that are gone and may or may not have been destroyed. A new evidence-management system has recently been put in place, but this was the first audit of the department in two decades.

January 23, 2016 — Broome County, N.Y. — Decades' worth of "pocket change" collected from the Broome County District Attorney's Office (some seized as far back as 1979) accounted for nearly $50,000 in cash. Those funds will be distributed to the county's law enforcement agencies.

January 20, 2016 — Richmond, Ind. — The Wayne County Sheriff's Department has published a list of more than 50 people to whom they are attempting to return property that has been stored in the agency's evidence room.
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Court Case Update

FINGERPRINT EVIDENCE went through a nearly three-year ordeal in the New Hampshire court system, but eventually emerged unscathed. On April 4, 2008, the New Hampshire Supreme Court unanimously reversed the decision of a lower court to exclude expert testimony regarding fingerprint evidence in the case of The State of New Hampshire v. Richard Langill. The case has been remanded back to the Rockingham County Superior Court.