The Property Room: The Department’s Black Hole




Wright, William

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Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT)


Police property rooms are still being ignored and not given the attention that is needed to properly store and maintain these areas of the police department. Without the needed attention, this area of the police department could come back and haunt the chief and the workers in the property room. If property is not available for court, the case could be lost. If property is missing, someone could get indicted. A Dallas Police Department detective stated that “evidence for several of his cases could not be found and the cases fell apart. Ballistic evidence in an unsolved homicide investigation has gone missing” (Eiserer, 2007, p. 28). Police departments must have an officer for the disposal of property in their property room to correctly maintain and document that properties disposal. This paper looks at whether departments can afford to have an officer in their property room, itwill look at city court orders, county/district court orders, and non-disposable, long term storage items. These steps need to be taken in all police departments that maintaina property room anywhere in the country.



Evidence, criminal, Evidence preservation