7.060 - Releasing Evidence

Effective Date: 2/19/2014

7.060-POL

This policy applies to all employees releasing property and evidence.

1. Employees Respond to Requests to Release Property and Evidence

Employees will reply to requests to release property and evidence from the Evidence Unit or the Records.

Employees receiving a Law Department email decline will complete a 1.17 Evidence & Property Release Authorization and send it to the Evidence Unit.

Sergeants receiving a request to review a case and dispose of related evidence or property will release the evidence or assign the responsibility to a detective or officer.

2. Employees Release Evidence No Longer Needed for Law Enforcement Purposes

Employees will release property using the 1.17 Evidence & Property Release Authorization. See: 1.17 Evidence and Property Disposition Training Module

Employees will release property to the “owner or their agent” or to the “Director for disposal”.

If the employee cannot respond to the request due to extended leave or other reason (e.g., separation), the employee’s sergeant or supervisor will respond to the request.

7.060-TSK-1 Employee Releasing Evidence

1.Investigates and determines if the evidence or property is needed by the Department.

2a. If the evidence is from a felony:

2b. If the evidence is from a misdemeanor:

3. Determines if the evidence is: released to the owner of the property, released to the Director for disposal or retained by the Evidence Unit.

4a. If the property is released to the owner:

  • Determines if the owner can show reasonable proof of ownership and may legally possess the property.
  • If the owner cannot possess the property, the employee will release the property to the “Director for disposal”.(No letter is necessary if the property is disposed of)
  • Completes and Mails the owner a hard copy of the Property_Release_Notice (form_13.9)
    • Note: A phone call does not meet the legal requirement for proper notification

Note: The Evidence Unit does not make owner notifications.  

  • Sends a copy of the completed Property_Release_Notice (form_13.9) to Data.
  • Sends the Evidence Unit a completed 1.17 Evidence & Property Release Authorization.
  • Checks “Release to owner” on the V-Mail template, and fills in the owner’s name, address, how notified and date notified.

Note: The Property Release Card (form 7.10) is no longer Authorized

4b. If the property is released to the Director for disposal:

  • Checks the appropriate box on the 1.17 Evidence & Property Release Authorization

4c. If the property is retained:

  • Checks the appropriate box on the 1.17 Evidence & Property Release Authorization
  • Completes the explanation why the property is retained in the comments section.

5.Sends the Evidence Unit a completed 1.17 Evidence & Property Release Authorization

  • The Evidence Unit will not accept a hard copy Property Release Authorization (form 1.17)