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Phone: 503-823-0000

Fax: 503-823-0342

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1111 S.W. 2nd Avenue, Portland, OR 97204

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0660.10 Property and Evidence Procedure

660.10   PROPERTY AND EVIDENCE PROCEDURE

Refer:

  • ORS 133.033  Peace Officer; Community Caretaking Functions
  • ORS 475.235  Presumptive Testing of Controlled Substances
  • DIR 640.13  Drug Lab Procedure
  • DIR 640.20  Sexual Assault Investigations
  • DIR 660.31  Release of Evidence Money
  • DIR 740.00  Explosive Device Incidents and EDU
  • DIR 761.00  Hazardous Materials Incidents
  • DIR 1051.00 Taser, Less Lethal Weapon System
  • DIR 1060.00 Weapons Disposition and Disposal
  • Evidence Transfer Form (PED)
  • Firearm Operability Check Special Report (Training)
  • Forensic Sciences Request Form (OSP)
  • Fraud Supplemental Report (Detectives)
  • Officer Disposition Report/Trace Form (PED)
  • Order for Property Release Form (PED)
  • Property/Evidence Receipt (PED)

 

PROCEDURE (660.10)

Directive Specific Definitions

Evidence: An article(s) taken into police custody that may furnish proof that an offense has been committed and/or certain person(s) committed an offense.

Precinct satellite property room: An area at each precinct set aside for the temporary storage of evidence and property.

Safekeeping property: An article(s) that is voluntarily relinquished to police custody or taken to prevent serious harm to any person or property under the provisions of ORS 133.033, Peace Officer; Community Caretaking Functions.

Receipting Property and Evidence (660.10)

a.  Any member who takes possession of property and/or evidence will complete a Property/Evidence Receipt (PED receipt).

b.  All information will be written in the appropriate spaces on the form. The following information is required:

1.  Date and time.

2.  Type of property.

3.  Type of incident.

4.  Delivering member’s name and DPSST number (I.D.).

5.  Investigating member’s name and I.D. (if applicable).

6.  Defendant or suspect’s name for prisoner’s property.

7.  For safekeeping property:

a)  Owner’s name.

b)  Owner’s address and zip code.

8.  A full description of each item submitted including serial numbers.

a)  Firearms require listing the serial number, make, action, caliber and country of origin.

b)  Worthless documents may be listed using the document number from the Fraud Supplemental Report as the item description.

9.  Delivery destination (i.e., property room, crime lab, Forensic Evidence Division (Forensics), other - describe), include locker location and number.

10. Case number.

c.  Copies of the PED receipt will be handled as follows:

1.  White copy is forwarded to the Records Division (Records) with the appropriate report.

2.  Yellow copy is given to the person the property or evidence was taken  from. If no one is available, the yellow copy will be left at the scene.

3.  Pink copy will accompany the property/evidence.

a)  Precinct satellite property rooms, leave in designated tray.

b)  Crime lab or the Detective’s video box. The pink copy will be attached to the property/evidence packaging.

c)  If property is released at the scene, an appropriate notation will be made on the PED receipt and the pink copy forwarded to PED.

d)  Separate PED receipts and separate packaging will be used for items that are delivered to different locations.

e)  All copies of voided PED receipts will be forwarded to PED.

Identifying Property and Evidence (660.10)

a.  Money, narcotics, and firearms will be placed in separate evidence bags.

b.  Evidence will be placed in a sealed evidence bag(s) whenever practical. Identifying information will be written on the bag, including PED receipt number, date, delivering member’s name and I.D., and contents (with PED receipt item number and description). Members will write initials, I.D., and date on the seal.

c.  Items too large for an evidence bag will have a completed evidence tag attached. Information on the tag will include PED receipt number, date, member name and I.D., receipt item number and description. These items will have a section of evidence tape applied to an appropriate location on the item (i.e., closure of sack, bucket lid, zipper area). Members will write initials, I.D., and date across the tape area.

d.  Damp or wet items will be packaged in paper sacks or plastic bags depending on the degree of wetness, with a property or evidence tag attached. The word Damp or Wet will be written prominently on the packaging and PED receipt. If the items are wet with body fluids, see section titled Processing Hazardous Items.

e.  Found, safekeeping, or prisoner’s property will be placed in manila envelopes, paper sacks, or some other suitable container. A property tag will be attached and include the PED receipt number, type of property, date, member name and I.D., PED receipt item number, and description. If the item is too large to package, the tag will be attached to the property.

f.   Tags will be affixed with sturdy tape or stapled to paper sacks. Nylon zip ties or string will not be used to affix tags.

g.  Money, narcotics or other valuables, such as expensive jewelry, submitted as found, safekeeping, or prisoner property must be placed in sealed evidence bags.

Delivering Property and Evidence (660.10)

a.  Members will deliver property/evidence to an appropriate location prior to the end of his/her shift.

b.  Evidence delivered to a satellite property room will be left in a locked cabinet or locker whenever possible.

c.  Evidence requiring fingerprinting will be delivered (24/7) to the Forensics Evidence Division (FED) property drop off room located on the 12th floor of the Justice Center before any other destination. A completed Forensics Processing Request Form will accompany the evidence and will be affixed to the front of the FED Incoming Evidence Locker where the evidence is placed along with a copy of the PED receipt. If DNA testing is also requested, a completed Oregon State Police Forensics Sciences Request Form will be attached to the PED receipt. A FED Criminalist will evaluate the evidence and make a determination how the evidence will be processed. Generally, the evidence will be fingerprinted at the FED and then forwarded to the PED for delivery to the OSP Crime Lab for DNA testing. Porous items such as paper and cardboard may be placed in plastic evidence bags. Non-porous items such as glass, cans, and firearms will be first placed in paper sacks, which will then be placed in plastic evidence bags, if possible.

1.  Drugs, drug paraphernalia and money may not be delivered to Forensics for fingerprinting, but the packaging these items are found in may be printed. If such packaging is to be printed, all contents (money/drugs) must be removed, placed in separate evidence packaging, and have a separate PED receipt with a notation referencing the transfer of the wrapping/container to another PED receipt.

2.  Drug paraphernalia and drug packaging to be printed will be delivered to the dedicated Forensics lockers in Central Precinct’s satellite property room. If plastic evidence bags are used, a second seal must be made to seal off the vent holes. The PED receipt will be placed inside the locker with the evidence. The member must notify Forensics that evidence has been delivered to the locker by faxing or delivering the completed Forensics Processing Request form to Forensics.

d.  Evidence needing crime lab analysis may be delivered as follows:

1.  For narcotics, see Processing Controlled Substances.

2.  All other evidence:

a)  Directly to PED during business hours with a completed Forensics Sciences Request Form and the pink copy of the PED Receipt.  PED will transfer the evidence to the crime lab the next business day.

b)  To any satellite property room locker. A completed Forensics Sciences Request Form will be attached to the pink copy of the PED receipt which will be left in the tray.  PED will transfer the evidence to the crime lab the next business day after retrieval from the satellite property room.

c)  Directly to the crime lab during their business hours with a completed Forensics Sciences Request Form and the pink copy of the PED Receipt.

3.  During non-business hours, blood and urine samples must be left in the refrigerator at Central Precinct’s satellite property room.

4.  Members will write their initials, DPSST #, and the date on all evidence bag seals.  Other packaging will have a completed Evidence Tag attached and will be sealed with evidence tape that will be initialed, DPSST # applied and dated.

e.  A PED call out is initiated through BOEC to notify PED staff during non-business hours of property/evidence exceeding $10,000, item(s) too large for a satellite property room or PED van, or samples of meth lab chemicals processed by DVD. The delivering member is responsible for transport of the property/evidence to PED.

Processing Controlled Substances (660.10)

Controlled substances, other than marijuana obtained from a grow operation, will be packaged in sealed evidence bags. Green marijuana will be packaged in paper sacks sealed with evidence tape. Each item of controlled substances will be weighed, including packaging. The weight will be recorded on the PED receipt. Processing and delivery of controlled substances will be as follows:

a.  PCS submissions with testable amounts of heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine or marijuana will be field tested by members who have been trained and certified to conduct presumptive tests for these types of controlled substances. A Special Report recording the test results will be completed and included with the Custody Report. Members are not required to complete a Forensics Sciences Request Form for these PCS submissions.

b.  PCS submissions for all other types of controlled substances, such as prescription pills, LSD or ecstasy will not be field tested. Also, PCS submissions for a residue amount, a liquid form or a bio-hazard contaminated item (including heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine or marijuana) will not be field tested. If Crime Lab analysis for these submissions is required, the DA’s Office will request PED to send the substance to the crime lab. Members are not required to complete a Forensics Sciences Request Form for these types of PCS submissions.

c.  PCS submissions that result in a negative or inconclusive result when field tested will have a Forensics Sciences Request Form completed and attached to the pink copy of the PED Receipt. Members must write in the Incident field of the PED receipt “Negative Field Test - Please Test.” PED will transfer these submissions to the crime lab for analysis the next business day after being picked up from a satellite property room or received at PED.

d.  DCS/MCS submissions will have a Forensics Sciences Request Form completed and attached to the pink copy of the PED Receipt.  Members do not need to conduct a field test for these submissions unless the arrest is part of a special mission. The acronym DCS/MCS must be written in the Incident field of the PED Receipt.  If crime lab analysis is required, the DA’s office will request PED to send the substance to the crime lab.

e.  Narcotics submissions involved in Investigative buys will have a Forensics Sciences Request Form completed and attached to the pink copy of the PED Receipt.  Members must write “Investigative Buy” in the incident field of the receipt.  PED will deliver these submissions to the crime lab for analysis the next business day after being picked up from a satellite property room or received at PED.

f.   Narcotics will be delivered as follows according to their street value.

1.  $1,000 or less - may be delivered to any satellite property room or to PED during business hours.

2.  Over $1,000 to $10,000 - may be delivered to a drop safe at any satellite property room or to PED during business hours.

3.  Over $10,000 - will be delivered directly to PED.  After business hours, use a PED call-out.   Note: If this amount requires crime lab testing, the delivering member will be required to return to PED during business hours to transport the narcotics to the crime lab.

g.  No more than two different types of controlled substances, per arrested subject, may be submitted for analysis by the crime lab.

Processing Marijuana Grow Operations (660.10)

Drugs and Vice Division (DVD) is responsible for processing marijuana and related items associated with grow operations. Members discovering marijuana grow operations during DVD business hours will request a DVD team to respond. After business hours BOEC will contact the on-call DVD sergeant upon request. Members will note the name of the DVD supervisor contacted on the PED receipt and document the action in his/her report.

Processing Money (660.10)

a.  Evidence money seized in amounts equal to or greater than $100 will be photographed by a sworn member at the scene where it was discovered whenever possible. The intent is to show where, how, and in what condition the money was at the time of seizure.  If the photograph is not taken at the scene, it will be taken later in a manner that shows the currency displayed or stacked with the original packaging.  A copy of the photo will be forwarded to Records with the member’s report. PED will not take photos of the seized money.

b.  Money will be counted by at least two members in the presence of one another. The names of the two members will be noted in the appropriate report.

c.  The number of bills and/or coins of each denomination will be listed on the PED receipt along with the total amount.

d.  PED will perform a separate count of money greater than $100. PED will document any discrepancy in a Special Report. A copy of the report will be sent to the delivering officer and the investigating member.

e.  Money will be delivered as follows:

1.  $1,000 or less may be delivered to any precinct satellite property room or to PED during business hours.

2.  Over $1,000 to $10,000 will be delivered to a drop safe at any satellite property room or to PED during business hours.

3.  Over $10,000 will be delivered directly to PED. After business hours, use a PED call out.

f.   Case envelopes involving money evidence will be stamped with Money Seizure in red ink.

g.  Evidence money received at PED in amounts equal to or greater that $100 will be deposited into an Evidence Money bank account after 60 days of storage unless instructions from the DA’s office or the case officer or detective have been received by PED directing that the actual currency be retained for prosecution or investigative purposes. A request for retention may be made by calling PED. PED personnel will send a confirmation to the requestor.

Processing Firearms (660.10)

Firearms will be unloaded and rendered safe for handling. Actions on rifles, shotguns, and semi-automatic pistols will have the safety on and be secured in the open condition with tape, flexcuffs, or some other device. Revolvers will have the cylinders removed or taped/fastened open. If a firearm cannot be made safe by unloading, and securing the action/cylinder open, or if there is any question as to whether the firearm is loaded, the member will attach a red Unsafe Firearm tag to both the firearm, and to the outside of the locker in which the firearm is placed.

All ammunition will be removed from cylinders, chambers, and magazine wells. Ammunition and magazines will be packaged in a separate sealed bag from the firearm and identified on the PED receipt as a separate item from the firearm.

a.  Firearms requiring fingerprinting and/or photographing will be delivered to Forensics prior to any other destination with:

1.  The action secured open.

2.  Secured in a paper sack sealed with evidence tape and initialed, I.D. applied, and dated by the delivering member.

3.  An evidence tag attached to the sack.

4.  The pink copy of the PED receipts accompanying the firearm.

b.  All firearms not requiring Forensics processing will be delivered directly to PED or any satellite property room locker.

c.  If the firearm was seized as misdemeanor evidence, the delivering member will perform a function check of the weapon and complete a Firearm Operability Check Special Report.

d.  If felony test firing is required, a Forensic Sciences Request Form will be completed and attached to the pink copy of the PED receipt. PED will transfer the firearm to the Crime Lab for testing.

Processing for IBIS Classification (660.10)

The following firearms seized as evidence or found property will be submitted for IBIS classification:

a.  All semi-automatic handguns and casings.

b.  7.62 x 39 rifles and casings (SKS and AK).

c.  .223 Rem. (5.56 mm) rifles and casings.

d.  All semi-automatic and pump action shotguns and shell casings.

For questions regarding whether or not a caliber qualifies for IBIS testing, members should call the crime lab for confirmation.

The IBIS examination of revolvers and expended bullets of any kind has been suspended. Safekeeping and Prisoner’s Property firearms will not be submitted for IBIS classification. All firearms will be properly secured and packaged prior to submission.

a.  Members will place an orange IBIS sticker in the lower left corner of the PED receipt. Do not write on the sticker.

b.  Complete and attach to the receipt a Forensics Sciences Request Form 49 (Form 49). If felony test firing is needed, the member will include that on the form.

c.  Delivery will be made as follows:

1.  If fingerprinting is required, the item will first be delivered to Forensics. The pink copy of the PED receipt with the Form 49 attached will accompany the item. PED will transfer the item to the Crime Lab for IBIS processing after fingerprinting.

2.  To any satellite property room locker. The pink copy of the receipt, with the Form 49 attached, will be placed in the tray in the satellite property room. PED will transfer the item to the Crime Lab for IBIS processing.

Processing Weapons Other than Firearms (660.10)

a.  A photocopy or photo of evidence weapons (including ruler for measurement, if applicable) will be made and attached to the Investigation or Custody Report.

b.  Fixed blade knives, swords, daggers, axes, etc., will have sharp edges and points covered to protect subsequent handlers. Use tape, paper, cardboard, or some other device to wrap the weapon to prevent injury.

c.  Sheathed knives will be taped into their sheaths. Other knives such as switchblades, gravity knives, butterfly knives, and spring-loaded knives will be taped closed.

d.  Weapons may be delivered to any satellite property room, Forensics, or PED during business hours.

Processing Hazardous Items (660.10)

a.  Hazardous or noxious materials are substances considered dangerous to health by exposure and will not be accepted or stored in any PED facility, except evidence samples collected by DVD at scenes of illegal drug labs. See DIR 640.13, Drug Lab Procedure. Members encountering hazardous or noxious materials that are not part of an illegal drug lab will contact BOEC to notify the Portland Fire Bureau Hazardous Materials Team (HazMat) per DIR 761.00 Hazardous Material Incidents.

b.  DVD personnel will place the evidence sample(s) in a bucket, partially filled with absorbent material, in a non-contaminated area. The bucket lid will be sealed with duct tape and evidence tape that is initialed, I.D. applied and dated by the delivering member. An evidence tag will be attached to the bucket.

1.  DVD personnel will issue PED receipts and completed Forensic Sciences Request forms for all samples taken. Samples and forms will be delivered to the crime lab during business hours and to PED during non-business hours by using the call-out procedure.

2.  No other contaminated articles, including paperwork, from the scenes of illegal drug labs will be accepted or stored at any property/evidence facility or transported in any Bureau vehicle, except contaminated firearms that will be processed as follows:

a)  Once rendered safe, the firearm(s) will be taken to a non-contaminated area, over-packed and taped airtight inside plastic wrapping. The packaging will be clearly marked with the words Contaminated Firearm. The PED receipt will have the notation Contaminated Firearm(s).

b)  These firearms will not be available for further investigation or viewing purposes unless handled by DVD personnel wearing the same level of protective gear that was worn during the initial processing.

c.  Bio-hazardous articles are items that have been contaminated with blood or other body fluids.

1.  Items wet with body fluids will not be placed in evidence bags. They will be placed in paper sacks and/or plastic biohazard bags. Biohazard stickers will be placed on the packaging or it will be clearly marked with the words, Bloody or Biohazard.

2.  Items that are wet with blood or other body fluids will be delivered directly to PED during business hours, and to the biohazard shed at the Rivergate Vehicle Storage Facility (Rivergate Facility) after business hours. The pink copy of the PED receipt will be left in the tray in the office. Such items will not be left at any other property/evidence facility.

3.  Items contaminated with blood or other body fluids that are dry may be processed as any other property or evidence except that they will be covered with protective packaging bearing biohazard stickers or the words Bloody or Biohazard.

d.  Syringes must be handled with extreme care as they present a serious health risk. Members are urged to discard all syringes except those absolutely necessary for prosecution purposes.

1.  Unneeded syringes will be discarded into approved sharps containers only.

2.  The crime lab will not accept syringes or parts of syringes unless prior instructions from a Deputy District Attorney (DDA) have been received.

3.  Syringes submitted as evidence will be placed inside plastic syringe holders. The crime lab and PED will accept syringes only packaged in plastic syringe holders.

e.  Explosives, bomb making materials, ammunition 50 caliber or larger and commercial size fireworks will not be accepted or stored at any PED facility. Refer to DIR 740.00, Bomb Threat/Post Blast Procedures, EDU.

f.   Illegal fireworks that fill less than a regular-sized paper grocery sack may be placed in any PED facility.

1.  Larger quantities will be placed in the orange wooden box adjacent to the bomb room on L-1 in the JusticeCenter. If that box is full, contact EDU via the Dispatch Coordinator (DC) for instructions. The pink copy of the PED receipt will be forwarded to PED.

2.  Less than a dozen M-80 size devices may be placed in any property/ evidence facility. Larger quantities and any device more powerful, require special handing. Contact EDU via the DC for instructions.

3.  Improvised, homemade, or modified fireworks will not be accepted or stored in any property/evidence facility. Contact EDU via the DC for instructions.

g.  Gasoline will not be accepted or stored at any property/evidence facility.

1.  Fuel containers and small engines with gas tanks, (i.e., lawn mowers, chain saws, generators, etc.) will be emptied prior to delivery. They may be taken to the Rivergate Facility where there is equipment to empty the gasoline into cans kept there for this purpose.

2.  Empty fuel containers and small engines with empty gas tanks may be delivered to any property/evidence facility. They will not be left at the Rivergate Facility.

3.  If the fuel is required as evidence, members will place a sample of it into a sealed vial or jar and process it for the crime lab using a separate PED receipt and Forensics Sciences Request Form. The remainder of the fuel will be disposed of as outlined above.

h.  Stun guns are dangerous devices. Members will remove the battery from the device prior to delivery.

i.   Mace and pepper spray canisters will be rolled up inside an evidence bag then placed inside a second evidence bag that will be sealed at both ends.

j.   Propane tanks and canisters may be left at any property/evidence facility.

k.  Deployed Taser probes will be reinserted, point down, into the discharged air cartridge and covered with tape before being placed into evidence bags. If the probes were removed from a person, a biohazard sticker will be placed on the evidence bag.

Processing Sexual Assault Evidence (660.10)

See DIR 640.20, Sexual Assault Investigations. No items other than the Sexual Assault Evidence Kit and the victim’s undergarments and/or pantyhose will be left in the OHSU locker.

Processing Found Property (660.10)

Found property is an article(s) accepted into police custody that has been lost or abandoned and not connected with a known or suspected criminal offense.

a.  Members are encouraged to determine ownership of found property and return it, if time and circumstances permit. Identified owners’ names will be written on the PED receipt. Mark the PED receipt with the words Returned to Owner and have the recipient sign the face of the receipt. The pink copy will then be forwarded to PED.

b.  When found property is received from a finder, the finder’s name will be placed in the space marked Property Taken From and the finder will be given the yellow copy of the PED receipt.

1.  Finders wishing to make a finder’s claim for the property will be instructed to contact PED within five days.

2.  The words Finder’s Claim will be written boldly across the face of the PED receipt. Failure to take this step may result in the disposal of the property.

c.  Found property may be delivered to any property/evidence facility.

d.  Small pieces of found property, properly packaged and tagged, may be forwarded to PED via inter-office mail along with the pink copy of the PED receipt. Exceptions are weapons, money, items of significant value, narcotics, wet items, or large items. Evidence, safekeeping, or prisoner’s property will not be sent via inter-office mail.

e.  Citizens turning in or requesting the pick-up of a found bicycle will be encouraged to take the bicycle to the nearest precinct for processing.

f.   In cases of disputed ownership or where ownership is unclear, PED will not determine ownership. Inquiring persons will be referred to the delivering officer or investigator who will forward an Order for Property Release Form naming the person to whom the property may be released, as appropriate. Never issue two PED receipts for the same item. Members may release property to a claimant only when there is no conflicting claim, and the sole claimant establishes identity and ownership beyond a reasonable doubt. If there are conflicting claims that make it impossible for a member to determine ownership, the member will contact the City Attorney’s Office for instructions.

Processing Safekeeping Property (660.10)

The Bureau recognizes that members are often called upon to exercise discretion in their peacekeeping mission by taking property into custody for the purpose of maintaining the peace or for maintaining the safety of the property. Property may be presented to members voluntarily, with an owner’s consent, or taken without an owner’s consent under the provisions of ORS 133.033, Peace Officer; Community Caretaking Functions.

a.  When property is obtained for safekeeping purposes, the member will leave the yellow copy of the PED receipt with the person from whom the property was obtained.

b.  Safekeeping property will be released to the named owner upon demand after the property has been received at PED, usually one working day after turn-in.

c.  Safekeeping property may be delivered to any property/evidence facility.

 Processing Prisoner’s Property (660.10)

Personal property belonging to arrested subjects or unavailable suspects that are not needed as evidence may be taken into police custody as prisoner’s property.

a.  The yellow copy will be given to the arrested subject prior to incarceration. This is the only notification he/she will receive and must be maintained on their person or with his/her personal property left at the jail, as appropriate. Disposition of the yellow copy will be documented in the appropriate report. In the case of an unavailable suspect, the yellow copy will be left at the scene.

b.  Prisoner’s property may be delivered to any property/evidence facility. Prisoner’s property will be released to the named defendant/suspect upon demand after the property has been received at PED, usually one working day after turn-in.

Checking Out Evidence (660.10)

a.  Members intending to check out evidence will inform PED in advance whenever possible.

b.  Members will maintain the chain of custody by signing and dating a Property Check Out Form provided by PED.

c.  If the possibility exists that a member may turn over custody of the evidence to the court, a prosecutor, another agency, or another member, the member will be provided with an Evidence Transfer Form to be used to maintain the chain of custody. The member will obtain the signature of the person to whom custody was relinquished and ensure that the signed copy is returned to PED.

d.  Upon the check-in of evidence, the member will maintain the chain of custody by signing and dating the Check Out Form. If the member returns the evidence via a satellite property room, the member will sign and date the Evidence Transfer Form indicating when and where the evidence was left.

Transferring Evidence (660.10)

a.  Members may request that evidence by transferred to the crime lab for analysis by submitting an Oregon State Police Forensic Sciences Request Form to PED. PED will deliver the evidence on the next scheduled crime lab trip.

b.  Members may request that evidence be transferred to Forensics for processing. It is the member’s responsibility to fax a copy of the completed Forensics Processing Request Form to the FED.

c.  Any other requests for transfer of evidence must be in writing and signed by a sworn member.

Releasing Property and Evidence (660.10)

a.  Found property belonging to an undisputed owner, safekeeping property for a named owner, and prisoner’s property for a named defendant/suspect will be released upon demand with satisfactory identification.

b.  In cases where ownership is unknown or in dispute, inquiring persons will be referred to the delivering officer to obtain written authorization to claim the property.

c.  Evidence will be released to an owner when the item(s) is no longer needed as evidence and has been released by a sworn member. Sworn members will complete an Order for Property Release Form and forward it to PED.

d.  The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office (MCDA) encourages the pretrial release of evidence to victims whenever possible. Photographing and releasing evidence enables victims to use their property, and reduces congestion in PED.

1.  The types of property/evidence that may be photographed and released includes, but is not limited to, home appliances, home and automotive entertainment devices (TV, stereos, tape/CD/DVD players, etc.), perishable items, household furniture, and bicycles.

2.  Items that will not be photographed and released include physical evidence in a murder case, weapons, contraband, controlled substances, physical evidence of a crime (i.e., broken doors and windows, pried open cash registers, items with identifiable prints, etc.), implements used to commit the crime, and evidence whose function, value, or importance in the case can only be understood by their use in court (i.e., the item must be handled and closely inspected to convey its evidentiary importance).

3.  When photographing property to be released, both the victim and the item should appear in the photograph. When possible the victim should sign and date the photograph. This allows for future recognition of the photograph as a true and accurate representation of the property.

4.  The photograph(s) will be placed in an evidence bag and labeled Photograph(s). A PED receipt will be completed and submitted to PED as described above.

5.  Any doubts regarding the photographing and release of property should be discussed with the member’s supervisor or the DDA handling the case.

6.  When property is released, the owner should be advised that he/she might be requested to bring the property to court at a future time.

7.  Evidence money in amounts less than $100 may be released in the form of cash at PED. Evidence money in amounts of $100 or more will be released in the form of a check initiated by PED upon receipt of an authorized release form.

Disposition of Property and Evidence (660.10)

a.  Unclaimed found property will be disposed of after 30 days of storage or after 60 days from the date of notice to the owner or finder.

b.  Unclaimed safekeeping and prisoner’s property will be disposed of after 60 days of storage or after 60 days from the date of notice to the owner. c.  Unclaimed evidence, authorized for release, will be disposed of after 60 days from the date of notice to the owner.

d.  Firearms, not eligible for release, will be disposed of in accordance with DIR 1060.00, Weapons, Dangerous and Deadly, Disposition and Disposal of.

e.  Members are encouraged to give written authorization to PED to dispose of evidence anytime the member determines that it is no longer needed as evidence.

f.   Officer Disposition Reports and Trace forms are sent by PED to members for evaluation of further retention and disposition of evidence. Upon receipt of either form, members will indicate the appropriate disposition of the evidence and return the form to PED within 30 days. Failure to return the Officer Disposition Report or Trace form within 30 days may result in the notification of the member’s RU manager for further action.