General Policy Information
Latest Revision Date: 5/15/2013
Title 1 - Department Structure and Function
Title 2 - Department Employment
Title 3 - Employee Welfare
Title 4 - Timekeeping
Title 5 - Employee Conduct
Title 6 - Arrests, Search and Seizure
Title 7 - Evidence and Property
Title 8 - Use of Force
Title 9 - Equipment and Uniforms
Title 10 - Police Facilities & Security
Title 11 - Detainee Management
Title 12 - Department Information Systems
Title 13 - Vehicle Operations
Title 14 - Emergency Operations
Title 15 - Primary Investigation
15.210 - Investigating Property Held by a Pawnshop or Used-Goods Store
Title 16 - Patrol Operations
Effective Date: 6/28/2007
I. Types of Evidence
A. Certain types of property require special handling, storage, or other considerations when collected as evidence. There may be particular safety considerations associated with the evidence as well. The Evidence Unit may not accept certain items.
II. Evidence that Requires Special Handling
A. Ammunition components/explosives
1. Factory ammo less than 50 cal. in small quantities can generally be handled as regular evidence.
1. See P&T 047-Bloodborne Pathogens
1. The Harbor Unit will provide storage for boats recovered as evidence. A Vessel, Watercraft, or Obstruction Theft and Impound Report (form 5.42) must be completed to document the investigatory impound.
E. Cellular phones/pagers
1. Officers shall turn off the power when logging cellular phones/pagers into the Evidence Unit.
2. When completing paperwork, officers shall include the telephone number and area code assigned to the device (if known) as an “owner applied number”.
F. Chemicals (known and unknown)
I. Fireworks / Explosives
J. Hazardous materials
K. Knives / Sharp bladed instruments
L. Large items
1. e.g., safes, lumber, truck loads of goods, etc.
N. Needles / Syringes
III. Storage Practices for Physical Evidence
A. Physiological fluids (i.e., blood, saliva, semen, etc.) must be preserved using the following methods.
1. Refrigerate liquid blood samples.
2. Air dry at room temperature and then freeze items such as:
a. Saliva samples,
b. Stained clothing/fabrics,
c. Stained swabs,
d. Stained gauze cuttings, and
e. Dried blood or semen crusts.
3. Without air-drying, place used condoms in a plastic container and then freeze ASAP.
4. Stained hard objects such as guns, rocks, metals, etc. should not be frozen or refrigerated. Subse-quent condensation may dilute or otherwise impact physiological fluid evidence. Store objects at room temperature and notify the lab ASAP.
5. If other types or forms of physiological fluid evidence are encountered, call the WSP Crime Lab Biochemistry Unit Forensic Scientist at 206-262-6020 for acceptable methods of preservation.