TO PROTECT WITH COURAGE

TO SERVE WITH COMPASSION

10-400 Property and Evidence

10-401 RESPONSIBILITY FOR INVENTORY OF PROPERTY AND EVIDENCE (12/14/07)

(A-D)

Definitions:

All MPD employees taking possession of property, whether evidentiary or non-evidentiary, shall place such property in the custody of the Property and Evidence Unit and complete the inventory prior to the end of their shift. The inventory shall include all evidence seized regardless of whether an arrest has been made. This includes sworn employees working off-duty employment. (04/01/93) (02/19/02) (12/14/07)

Exceptions to this requirement:

Investigative personnel shall property inventory evidence created during the course of an investigation (such as audio/video recordings of interviews) as soon as practical given the nature of the case.

The clothing and all personal effects used to identify an arrested person shall be inventoried by the arresting or assisting, sworn employee(s). When a suspect is charged or released, the case investigator shall decide if the suspect's clothing and/or personal effects need to be held as evidence. If there is no legal basis to hold the items, the investigator shall immediately authorize release of the items via the CAPRS system.

Due to facility and personal safety concerns, the Property and Evidence Unit will not accept items containing unknown contents unless a search warrant to open or examine the item is being obtained. This includes, but is not limited to: locked safes, briefcases and luggage. Officers and Investigators should contact the Property and Evidence Unit before bringing in these types of items.

Cash, jewelry, narcotics and firearms are only accessible when a Property and Evidence supervisor is on site.

Employees shall not retain any property or evidence that has come into their possession through the course of their official duties, for personal use.

Property and Evidence (P&E) Unit personnel will set standards for receiving, documenting and securing all items inventoried. The Property and Evidence Unit Procedure Manual outlines procedures for handling evidence and carrying out property inventories in detail.

10-401.1 PROPERTY AND EVIDENCE ACQUIRED OR TEMPORARILY STORED AT PRECINCTS (12/14/07)

Only property held for safekeeping and items obtained as the result of misdemeanor arrests shall be inventoried in the temporary precinct lockers. Officers are responsible for ensuring all items obtained as a result of a felony arrest are inventoried in the Property and Evidence Unit prior to the end of their shift.

All video surveillance and digital media shall be property inventoried according to policy prior to the end of the officer’s shift.

*Under no circumstances shall firearms or narcotics be property inventoried in precinct lockers.

10-402 INVENTORY PROCEDURES WHEN THE PROPERTY AND EVIDENCE UNIT IS CLOSED (12/14/07)

(A-C)

MPD employees who property inventory items during hours which the Property and Evidence Unit is closed, shall follow these guidelines and procedures:

10-403 PACKAGING EVIDENCE (12/14/07)

(A-C)

When transporting items contaminated by bodily fluids or unknown substance(s), use a leak proof container, double or triple bagging the evidence if necessary. Advise Property and Evidence Unit personnel of any possible contaminants on or inside the evidence.

If the Property and Evidence Unit is closed, mark the container as "CONTAMINATED" or "CAUTION" and note on the Property Inventory Form in large, bold letters that the objects of the inventory may be contaminated. Items that are wet shall be inventoried according to Property and Evidence Blood Room procedures. Refer to Section 10-421, Property and Evidence Blood Room Procedures.

Needles are to be packaged in puncture proof containers. Sworn employees should not disassemble needles or syringes. The Property and Evidence Unit has Syringe Safety Kits available to all personnel. (04/01/93)

Upon inventory, Property and Evidence Unit personnel shall determine the appropriate method for packaging and storage of all property and evidence, based on available information regarding circumstances of the case.

10-404 MARKING EVIDENCE AND CHAIN OF CUSTODY (12/14/07)

(A-C)

MPD employees may mark or label evidence recovered from a scene or involved persons. Marking evidence may assist with the case investigation. Items should be marked with the following information: badge number, date and time of recovery, case control number and other identifying information (if needed).

MPD employees may mark or label items using markers, tape, tags, containers or envelopes. Property and/or evidence shall not be marked in such a way as to ruin the evidentiary value or render the items useless. The employee marking the item shall retain custody of the property/evidence until it is inventoried at the Property and Evidence Unit.

All persons viewing or taking custody of property/evidence from the Property and Evidence Unit, shall sign the Property Inventory form as requested by Property and Evidence Unit personnel. The employee signing for evidence is responsible for that evidence until it is turned over to the court, returned to the owner, or returned to the Property and Evidence Unit.

10-404.01 MARKING FIREARMS (12/14/07)

The MPD employee(s) responsible for property inventorying firearm(s) shall complete a ‘trigger tag’ and have it attached to the trigger guard area (if possible). Trigger tags shall be completed with the following information: badge number, date and time of recovery, serial number, case control number and any other identifying information.

10-405 PROPERTY TO REMAIN SEALED (12/14/07)

(A-B)

All property and evidence inventoried at the Minneapolis Property and Evidence Unit is subject to verification by Unit personnel prior to inventory. Not all items are required to be in a sealed package. Situations in which the integrity of evidence may be compromised by unsealing will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

10-406 EVIDENCE REQUIRING TESTING OR ANALYSIS (12/14/07)

(A-C)

Only MPD employees shall be allowed to sign-out evidence requiring testing or analysis.

All other persons (not MPD employees) signing out property from the Property and Evidence Unit for testing or analysis shall have authorization to do so granted via CAPRS for the specific item(s), from the case investigator or the Commander of the unit to which the case is routed prior to signing the chain-of-custody. This includes evidence being transferred to outside agencies (ATF, DEA, FBI, etc.).

10-406.01 EVIDENCE HELD FOR LATENT PRINT AND/OR DNA PROCESSING (04/16/12) (06/10/13)


1.  Employees collecting items containing potential latent print and/or DNA evidence shall wear
     gloves during the evidence collection and property inventory processes and avoid touching 
     areas most likely to have been handled by suspect(s), whenever possible.

2.  Any item to include firearms, knives or other object that was reportedly handled by the
     suspect or arrestee during any type of assault or threatened assault shall be collected using 
     latex gloves and held for latent print and/or DNA processing. (06/10/13)

3. The reporting officer shall note in his/her report that the item was handled in such a manner
    and that the item is held for latent print and/or DNA processing. (06/10/13)

4. MPD personnel shall advise Property and Evidence Unit personnel when items are to be held
    for latent print and/or DNA evidence processing. (06/10/13)

5. When applicable, MPD Evidence Locker Voucher (MP-9009) shall be completed and all
     items to be held for latent print and/or DNA processing shall be appropriately
     marked. (06/10/13)

6. Items not documented to be held for latent print or DNA processing will not be processed by
    the Crime Lab Unit. (06/10/13)

10-406.02 ORIGINAL VIDEO EVIDENCE (04/16/12)

1.      Original recordings of potential video evidence may only be removed from the Property and Evidence Unit by authorized Crime Lab personnel, unless a court order is presented stating the original recording is required for court purposes. This includes, but is not limited to: VHS tapes, CDs, DVDs, USB drives, media cards and hard drives.
 
2.      Copies of an original recording may be requested by completing a Crime Lab Video Request for Services form. 
 
3.      If there is an immediate investigative need to view an original recording before a copy is made, the original video evidence may be viewed in the Property and Evidence Unit, if the appropriate equipment is available.
 
a.       Every effort shall be taken that data is not added or deleted to the original media component. 
 
b.      This does not apply to public safety camera video and squad video recordings that have not been inventoried.
 
4.      If the appropriate equipment is not available and exigent circumstances exist, contact Car 21 to initiate callback of Forensic Video Analyst personnel.
 
5.      Video recording systems that have been property inventoried may be released after forensic video analysis has been completed and the case investigator has authorized the release in CAPRS.

10-407 INVENTORY OF COIN AND CURRENCY (11/09/2000) (11/23/05) (12/14/07)

(A-C)

Cash envelopes containing more than $200.00 shall have the signature and employee number of a supervisor on the envelope. Sworn employees may issue a MPD Receipt for Currency (Form MP-3414) to the person from whom the cash was obtained.

Sworn employees shall list the denominations and document the amount of cash confiscated and property inventoried in the corresponding CAPRS police report.

If any special circumstances exist such as the need for latent prints, biohazards are present, and/or special handling is necessary, sworn employees shall indicate this to the Property and Evidence Unit personnel assisting them or on the Property Inventory form submitted with the items, if placed in a secured locker.

U.S. and foreign currency shall be placed in separate envelopes and inventoried. Foreign currency will be listed at no value.

10-407.01 COUNTERFEIT CURRENCY (12/14/07)

All suspected counterfeit currency shall be inventoried separate from other currency, and detailed by denomination and serial number. On a regular basis, the United States Secret Service obtains and analyzes suspected counterfeit U.S. Currency from the Property and Evidence Unit. If suspected counterfeit currency is determined to be authentic, the Property and Evidence Unit shall make the proper notifications and release the currency to the rightful owner.

10-408 INVENTORY OF FIREARMS (12/14/07)

(A-C)

Under no circumstances are loaded weapons to be brought into the processing area of the Property and Evidence Unit (with exception of sworn employees’ duty weapons). Firearms that are to remain loaded, or that may be ‘jammed’ shall be secured in an evidence locker along with a completed Property Inventory Form indicating the condition of the item(s) as well as documenting the serial number, make and model, if known. The outside of the locker shall also be flagged in a way as to notify Property and Evidence Unit personnel of a potentially loaded or ‘jammed’ firearm.

The sworn employee(s) or assisting employee(s) for the incident shall complete a CAPRS report detailing circumstances of the recovery of the firearm and identifying involved parties.

10-409 INVENTORY OF LATENT PRINTS (12/22/03)

(A-C)

Latent prints (i.e., fingerprints, palm prints, footprints) recovered at crime scenes by trained precinct officers or investigators shall be property inventoried in the Property and Evidence Unit and noted in the respective CAPRS report. (12/14/07)

On a regular basis, Crime Lab personnel will sign latent prints out of the Property and Evidence Unit for evaluation, entry into MAFIN, and comparison purposes.

Crime Lab personnel shall enter a CAPRS supplement, indicating the results of the evaluation and return the latent prints to the Property and Evidence Unit. (12/14/07)

10-410 EXPLOSIVES, FIREWORKS AND HAZARDOUS CHEMICALS (12/14/07)

(A-C)

When sworn employees encounter a situation involving suspected explosives, hazardous or potentially hazardous chemicals at a scene, they shall notify MECC who in turn will notify and advise Arson/Bomb Unit personnel of the circumstances. Arson/Bomb Unit personnel shall determine the appropriate response.

In most circumstances, the Property and Evidence Unit will accept and property inventory fireworks. The Property and Evidence Unit shall notify the Bomb Unit upon inventory, and the Bomb Unit will take custody of the fireworks for storage and/or disposal.

If Property and Evidence Unit personnel determine that inventory of fireworks is not possible due to the quantity or the presence of a safety hazard, the Property and Evidence Unit Supervisor shall be notified and MECC contacted to summon Bomb Unit personnel.

10-411 INVENTORY OF EVIDENCE OBTAINED FROM A HOSPITAL (12/14/07)

(A-C)

Hospital staff may remove clothing and personal items from the individual being evaluated or treated. The sworn employee(s) assigned the call shall take custody of such items unless directed otherwise by a supervisor. The sworn employee receiving custody, shall property inventory all evidence at the Property and Evidence Unit. If circumstances do not allow for the transfer of evidence immediately, the hospital may retain the clothing and/or personal effects for an Investigator, their designee, or Property and Evidence Unit personnel to pick up and inventory at a later time.

10-412 PROPERTY RELEASED PRIOR TO BEING PLACED IN PROPERTY AND EVIDENCE UNIT (12/14/07)

(A-C)

MPD employees releasing any property not already inventoried by the Property and Evidence Unit shall complete a handwritten Property Inventory Form, detailing the item(s) of property being released. The name and address of the individual to whom the property is released shall be clearly printed on the form. The individual receiving the property shall sign above their printed name. The completed Property Inventory Form shall then be forwarded to the Property and Evidence Unit to be documented and placed on file.

10-413 AUTHORIZED ADMITTANCE TO PROPERTY AND EVIDENCE UNIT (12/14/07)

(A-C)

Only personnel and visitors who have valid MPD business are allowed entry in to the Property and Evidence Unit. All personnel and visitors shall sign-in and sign-out on the designated form. All non-MPD visitors shall be escorted by Property and Evidence Unit personnel while in the unit.

In the event an unauthorized entry is made the following procedures shall be followed:

10-414 DISPOSITION OF EVIDENCE (12/14/07)

(A-C)

Assigned case investigators are responsible for indicating the disposition of evidence in CAPRS when a case is closed or inactivated. If an investigator indicates the disposition of evidence is to be held for "Adjudication," a date shall be entered which is consistent with the state statute of limitations. If evidence is to be retained for a longer period of time, it is the responsibility of the investigator to update the disposition status, including the date. A supplement shall be entered to the case indicating the reason for the extended retention period.

10-415 PROPERTY RELEASE - NARCOTICS (06/11/94) (12/14/07)

(C-D)

No narcotic drug or controlled substance shall be released from the Property and Evidence Unit without written authorization given to the Supervisor of the Property and Evidence Unit or their designee, from the Commander of the Narcotics Unit. Exceptions to this policy are signing out evidence for court or testing by the City chemist or BCA.

Release of narcotic drugs or controlled substances for the purpose of training must be authorized in writing by the Commander of the Narcotics Unit and coordinated with the Supervisor of the Property and Evidence Unit.

10-416 RELEASE OF FIREARMS & WEAPONS (5/6/91) (1/11/01) (12/8/05) (12/14/07)

(B-C)

Only the Criminal Investigations Division Commander, or their designee, has the authority to release firearms that have been inventoried in the Property and Evidence Unit. The Commander, or their designee, shall contact the case investigator(s) and the relevant City, County, and/or Federal attorney(s) regarding the evidentiary status of the concerned firearm. The release given by the Commander or their designee is validation that the firearm is no longer needed for evidentiary purposes in connection with the criminal investigation. This validation shall be documented by adding a supplement to the associated and original CAPRS reports.

The release of the firearm to the owner shall be done through the Property and Evidence Unit. Prior to the release of the firearm to the owner, Property and Evidence Unit personnel will ensure that the firearm is released pursuant to Minn. Stat. §624.713. Firearms shall be released from the Property and Evidence Unit Warehouse location by appointment only.

Assigned case investigators or the Commander of the unit to which the case has been routed may release non-firearms type weapons.

 

10-416.01 RELEASE OF CONFISCATED MPD FIREARMS/EQUIPMENT (12/8/05)

The Internal Affairs Unit Commander, or their designee, has the authority to place a hold on any property including firearms and other weapons that are seized in connection with an administrative investigation or an internal criminal investigation. Property that is placed on such a hold may only be released with the authorization of the Internal Affairs Unit Commander or their designee. The release given is validation that the property is no longer needed for evidentiary purposes in connection with the investigation. (12/14/07)

 

10-417 RELEASE OF NON-EVIDENCE (12/14/07)

(C-D)

Property and Evidence Unit personnel will only release property to the true owner s unless the owner waives their title to the property in writing (notarized letter).

When the owner is unknown to the department, the owner has waived title in writing, or it has been determined that the property has been abandoned per state statute, the property shall be:

10-418 PROPERTY RECEIVED IN EVIDENCE AT A TRIAL (12/14/07) (01/23/14)

(A-B)

All property received into evidence in court shall remain in the custody of the court until disposition is made by order of the court.

All items of property or evidence which are checked out of the Property and Evidence Unit for court, must be returned to the Unit by the end of the day, unless retained by the court as an exhibit. (01/23/14)

If an item (or items) are retained by the court for evidence, the person checking the evidence out must provide a copy of the court exhibit list to the Property and Evidence Unit prior to the end of the shift. If a court exhibit list is not available, the person must provide a signature and written notification at the Property and Evidence Unit indicating the evidence was retained by the court. (01/23/14)


10-419 PROPERTY WITH THE SERIAL NUMBER REMOVED OR ALTERED

(A)

All property of reasonable value which has the serial number removed or altered, with the exception of firearms, shall be engraved with the initials "MPD" and the appropriate case control number, and shall be included in any sale or auction if the rightful owner cannot be determined. (12/14/07)

EXAMPLE: MPD CCN 07-123456

10-420 INVENTORY OF ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES/CONTAINERS

(02/11/00) (11/03/06) (12/14/07)

(A-B)

A suspected alcoholic beverage in its original container shall be property inventoried when it is evidence of any crime.

For felony-level cases and the following specific offenses, the original container and its contents shall be inventoried in the condition which they were recovered. No sample is necessary.

For misdemeanor offenses involving suspected alcoholic beverages, such as public consumption, sworn employees or Community Service Officers shall take a sample of the suspected alcoholic beverage and empty the original container. Both the sample and empty container/packaging shall be property inventoried together.

Upon inventory, Property and Evidence personnel shall photograph the original container/packaging along with the sample of the contents in the liquid evidence container, and dispose of the original container after the inventory process is complete.

When the Property and Evidence Unit is closed: Sworn employees and Community Service Officers shall complete a handwritten inventory form and include it with the alcohol sample and container submitted.

10-421 PROPERTY AND EVIDENCE UNIT BLOOD ROOM PROCEDURES (12/14/07)

Access to the Blood Room shall be made through the Property and Evidence Unit during hours which the Unit is open. When the Unit is closed, sworn employees shall contact the Crime Lab or Car 710 to gain access. (12/22/08)

The following procedures shall be followed when placing evidence in the Blood Room.

  1. The Blood Room door should be closed when working inside to assist with optimal ventilation.
  2. Place paper under any items to be dried. This is to catch any possible (trace) evidence that may come off of the items as they dry.
  1. Leave space between items that are drying so that air can circulate around them.
  2. Mark all items with the CCN and person/location from which they were obtained.
  1. Urine kits, DNA kits, SAE kits or any other item needing refrigeration shall be placed in the small evidence refrigerator in the Blood Room.
  2. All items placed in the Blood Room shall have two copies of the Property Inventory Forms completed. One copy shall be left with the items placed in the Blood Room; the other copy shall be placed in the slotted locker located in the secured lockers area adjacent to the Property and Evidence Unit entry. This is to ensure Property and Evidence Unit personnel are made aware of any items awaiting inventory.

10-422        CONVERTING PROPERTY/EVIDENCE FOR DEPARTMENT USE (12/14/07)

 
The MPD may convert for department use evidence or found property that is not needed in a judicial proceeding when there is no known owner. Property shall only be converted for use after a thorough, documented investigation and approval process has taken place. (08/05/13)
 
A Precinct, Unit, or Division wishing to acquire evidence or found property for department use shall complete a MPD Property and Evidence Unit Request Form (MP-8000) available from the Property and Evidence Unit. The form, complete with appropriate signatures shall be forwarded to the Property and Evidence Unit, Room 33 City Hall. (08/05/13)
 
Requests will be completed on a first-come, first-serve basis. The Property and Evidence Unit, upon receiving the request will determine if the requested item(s) are in inventory. If such item(s) are located, Property and Evidence Unit personnel shall verify the property: (08/05/13)
 
·         Is not needed in a judicial proceeding,
·         Is not listed as a missing or stolen item,
·         Does not have a known owner who has a legal right to have the property returned to them.
 
Upon completion of the search, Property and Evidence Unit personnel will notify the Precinct, Unit, or Division that the item(s) are ready for transfer. (08/05/13)
 
In the event that the requested item is not available, the request will be placed on file on a wait-list. Once an item becomes available, the Precinct, Unit, or Division will be notified to make arrangements for the transfer. Upon transfer the item becomes property of the MPD. (08/05/13)

10-423      EMPLOYEE CELL PHONES AND RECORDING DEVICES USED TO CAPTURE EVIDENCE                       (07/25/13)

 
 
A.    All electronic data that could be considered evidence, captured by an employee’s personal or      
        MPD-owned cell phone or other recording device, generated during on-duty or off-duty (part-
        time) employment while in a law enforcement capacity for the City of Minneapolis, is  
        considered to be government data and the property of MPD, and may only be distributed in
        accordance with department policy. (See 4-501 Confidential Department Records, Reports and  
        Information.)
 
B.    The mandatory protocol which outlines what shall occur during the course of transferring 
       captured evidence from an employee’s device to MPD custody is as follows:
 
1. The cell phone or other recording device containing evidentiary photos or recordings shall immediately be property inventoried. The   minimum turnaround time for processing is 24 hours, possibly up to a week.
 
2. All content stored on the cell phone or other recording device which captured the evidentiary photos or recordings shall remain unchanged. Text messages, photos, emails or other data stored on the cell phone or recording device shall not be modified or deleted. This includes all content not related to the data captured as evidence.
 
3. The Crime Lab will process the evidence in the same manner all other phones or recording devices are handled. There are no exceptions.
 
4. “Processing” a phone or other recording device means a snapshot of all current data on the device will be obtained (not just an individual photo or recording), to include:
 
• Call history
• Text messages
• Contacts list
• All images
• All video
• All audio
• Deleted data files
 
5. Once processing is complete, the cell phone or recording device will be returned to the Property and Evidence Unit and a release from an investigator must be entered prior to retrieval by the employee.
 
6. A copy of all data outlined in #4 is provided to the court as part of evidentiary requests. This is standard procedure and personal or other unrelated data captured on phones or recording devices cannot be redacted or deleted.
 
7. The cell phone or recording device may be subpoenaed at a later time by defense attorneys to be subjected to another forensic analysis. The cell phone or recording device may be retained on a litigation hold for an extended period of time.
 
C.  Photos emailed or texted by employees to City email or other devices will not meet standards required for admissibility in court.

 

Last updated Jan. 23, 2014