Police Chief recommends using funding from SLESEF to conduct an Evidence Audit of the department's property and evidence room.
Police departments occasionally conduct Evidence Audits to ensure their evidence is accounted for and their property room is in good standing orders per POST guidelines.
The Coalinga Police Department has never had an outside company come in and conduct an audit of its property and evidence room. The department has conducted internal audits of its property and evidence room, but I am unaware of how those audits ended up.
The Property and Evidence room is the most important room in the department and it can be a ticking time bomb, a low priority and neglected if not properly maintained. It also leads to lawsuits and loss of criminal cases if the property is not handled properly.
For the past 6 months, the Secretary to the Police Chief has filled in as the Property and Evidence person and has only been able to process evidence that needs to be taken to the DOJ crime lab or the Fresno County Sheriff's Office for further evidence processing. As soon as the department has the coverage in dispatch, one of the Police Technicians, will be reassigned to property and evidence to maintain and properly process evidence as it comes in to the department.
We have contacted Key Evidence Inventory on August 10, 2020. They have looked at our evidence room and estimated it will take them about 5 months to go through every piece of evidence in our facility to ensure the evidence is properly stored and actually in the department's possession.
Once Key Evidence Inventory has completed their audit, the company will leave the department's evidence room clean, all shelves properly labeled and evidence in the right location. They will also provide a final report, which I will bring before the council upon their completion.
The cost of the audit is $24,000.00.
V. FISCAL IMPACT:
There is no fiscal impact to the City's general fund. The police department will use it's SLESEF account to pay for the audit. The department's SLESEF account has a fund balance of $220,000.