The POST Law Enforcement Evidence & Property Management Guide was developed as a resource for law enforcement agencies and personnel, noting best practices and providing standardized guidelines for the various aspects of the evidence and property function. The importance of this function in a law enforcement agency cannot be overstated. The agency has a fiduciary and legal obligation to store and protect items of evidence and property in its custody, and equally important, an obligation to legally restore property to the rightful owner as soon as practical or dispose of the property in a legal manner.
Law enforcement executives, managers, supervisors, peace officers, and professional staff members often fail to understand or appreciate the necessity and nature of the evidence and property function’s existence, and its contribution to the success of the agency. Essentially, the evidence/property function’s purpose can be summarized in the following basic mission statement:
The law enforcement evidence/property function exists in order for an agency to receive, catalog, safely store, and maintain the integrity of evidence, found property, and property for safekeeping. The function allows for the effective prosecution of criminal offenders while confirming innocence; and victims may find truth and closure as justice is served. Lastly, law enforcement agencies have the legal obligation to restore evidence/property to rightful owners or facilitate the legal disposition of evidence/property in agency possession.
Read or Download The POST Law Enforcement Evidence & Property Management Guide