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0660.30, Evidence Funds Use

Directive 660.30, Evidence Funds Use


  1. The member/investigator is the primary user for all evidence funds available in the Police Bureau. As such, the member/investigator must maintain strict integrity in accounting for evidence funds (monies used to obtain evidence and/or information in the investigation of a crime). Ongoing consistent supervision of members and agent/informants (an individual working for a member in an undercover status) who disburse, use or receive evidence and informant funds is the critical factor in ensuring integrity and accountability. Supervision and responsibility begin at the member/investigator level, and continue throughout the chain of command.

2. Funds may be used for the following purposes:

2.1.   Paying agents/informants for information.

2.2.   Purchasing items that will be used as evidence, develop suspects, further an investigation or lead to an arrest.

2.3.   Out-of-pocket, job-related expenses incurred when conducting an investigation.

2.4.   Out-of-town investigations that will not be reimbursed by the state or the District Attorney’s Office.

2.5.   Rental of a vehicle or other equipment for a limited period of time.

3. Funds may be used for the following only with approval from a Responsibility Unit Manager.

3.1.   Disbursement to an informant or undercover operative in the form of a monthly retainer.

3.2.   Purchase of legitimate property on the open market for resale in furtherance of an investigation.

3.3.   Procurement of evidence, information, or recovery of property from crimes committed in other jurisdictions.

3.4.   Sending members to schools or seminars when reimbursement is fully expected. Authorization will be strictly limited.

3.5.   Provide lodging, meals, and/or travel expenses for victims or witnesses if the cost will not be reimbursed by city, state or other sources. (The victim or witness must be needed to further an investigation, or his/her safety must be in immediate jeopardy because of assistance to the Bureau, which makes it necessary to provide temporary support pending disposition of the investigation.)

4. Funds may not be used for:

4.1.   Purchasing miscellaneous equipment for a Responsibility Unit or members even though the intent is to use it for an investigation.

4.2.   Travel and living expenses not directly related to a case under investigation.


  1. Obtaining Evidence Funds (Responsibility Unit Level):

1.1.   Responsibility Unit Managers (or designees) are authorized to make evidence fund draws against City Evidence and Information Funds and/or other funds which may become available from federal, state, or other sources.

1.2.   Actual cash fund draws will be made through the Fiscal Services Division. These draws require authorization from the Chief of Police or applicable Assistant Chief.

1.3.   Responsibility Units not having evidence funds available may receive funds from another Responsibility Unit, as outlined in this Directive.

2. Funds: Security and Access:

2.1.   All funds will be secured in a cash box within the locked Responsibility Unit safe. A separate cash box will be used for each fund if there is more than one source available.

2.2.   Access will be controlled by the Responsibility Unit Manager who may designate key members who are authorized to issue and turn in funds. These individuals will also have access to the Agent/Informant Moniker file. A current list of key members will be maintained by each Responsibility Unit in their administrative files.

2.3.   Purchasing commodities (e.g. Bitcoin, precious metals, etc.) in order to develop suspects or further an investigation. The purchase of commodities of any kind with evidence funds requires the written approval of the appropriate Assistant Chief and the direct involvement of the Drugs and Vice Division, in order to create evidence fund accounting mechanisms for the operational use of such commodities.

2.4.   Safe combinations will be changed when the Responsibility Unit Manager or key members are transferred from the Responsibility Unit.

2.5.   Expenditures will be authorized by the Responsibility Unit Manager or designee, before funds are distributed. The funds are to be used for criminal investigation with expenditures verified by documentation, receipts (where possible), and monthly Evidence Fund Expense Reports (EFERs).

3. Disbursal of Funds:

3.1.   A supervisor assigned to or responsible for the Responsibility Unit considering disbursal of funds will review the request for funds prior to disbursal using the following criteria:

3.1.1.      Proposed use of the funds.

3.1.2.      Reliability/effectiveness of informant (if one is involved).

3.1.3.      Legality of the operation (basis for search warrant, evidence buy, etc.).

3.1.4.      Amount of funds requested.

3.1.5.      Projected return on investment.

3.1.6.      If various funds exist, which fund will be used, and if the request fits the use criteria for that fund.

3.2.   Master Balance Ledger.

3.2.1.      A bound ledger book used to record all information and transactions relating to a single fund.

3.2.2.      Used to record all information related to draws, returns, issued funds, dates and purposes. Columns will be set up from left to right in the following manner:            Item #1 (Date) Date of transaction.            Item #2 (Name/Purpose).                  Printed full name and Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST) number of member receiving funds, returning funds, or adding a draw from Fiscal to the fund.                  Printed brief summary of how funds are to be used. Case numbers and agent/informant numbers are to be included when appropriate.                  Signature and Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST) number of member receiving funds, returning funds or adding a draw to the fund.                  Rank, signature, Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST) number of supervisor reviewing the disbursal or return.            Item #3 (Credits): Dollar amounts of draws from Fiscal or returns (added to the fund).            Item #4 (Debits): Dollar amounts of funds issued to a member (subtracted from the fund).            Item #5 (Balance): The fund balance after the transaction.

3.2.3.      Before a member signs for receipt of funds, both the member and the issuer are responsible for ensuring all information regarding the transaction is correct and the transaction is properly recorded in the member’s EFER.

3.2.4.      Entries will be made in ink in chronological order. The Master Balance Ledger will be balanced and closed the first day of the month.

3.2.5.      When funds are used for schools/seminars and reimbursement is expected in a different calendar month, an entry will be made indicating the funds are accounted for on the member’s EFER as carryover until the funds are reimbursed.

3.2.6.      The ending balance from the prior month will be reconciled. The balance will be moved to the top of a new page and used as the beginning balance for the new month (except when starting or ending a Master Balance Ledger where starting or ending balance will be zero).

3.3.   Evidence Fund Expense Report.

3.3.1.      An EFER will be maintained by each member/investigator who uses evidence funds.            The EFER is used to account for all funds used by the member/investigator in a calendar month.                  Unused funds will be returned prior to the end of the calendar month in which the funds were drawn.                  Funds being used in an investigation or that will be returned by another person or agency after the end of the month may be shown as carryover on the member’s EFER each month until turned in. A Responsibility Unit Manager may make other exceptions regarding carryover funds, as necessary.                  In the event of a carryover, an explanatory inter-office memo will be written to the Responsibility Unit Manager and attached to the monthly EFER.                   Carryover of funds into a new month is to be strictly limited.            All entries will be done in ink.

3.3.2.      Information included on the EFER:            Date of draw/expenditure.            Case number, where applicable.            Location/Property Receipt number - location of transaction, (e.g., office in the case of a draw, street address in the case of a payment; and Property Receipt number when applicable).            Transaction Description.                  Draw/payment/return information - informant number, EFAR (report, in triplicate, used for detailing informant payments) number, reason for expenditure, etc.                  Supervisor’s signature and Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST) number for all draws/returns to the fund.            Credit: Monies added to the member’s balance (amount drawn from evidence fund).            Debit: Monies subtracted from member’s balance (monies spent by member).            Balance forward: Member’s balance after the transaction.

3.3.3.      The white copy of the EFER (with the pink copy of all pertinent EFARs and the EFAR Witness Form) will be turned over to the supervisor by the end of each calendar month. The yellow copy is for the member/investigator’s records and will be kept for three years.

3.4.   Evidence Fund Accounting Receipts.

3.4.1.      Members, regardless of Responsibility Unit, will use an EFAR for recording agent/informant transactions.            All applicable sections of the receipt will be completed.            All agents/informants receiving evidence fund monies will sign the EFAR using their moniker.

3.4.2.      A minimum of 60% of all EFAR payments will be witnessed by another sworn law enforcement member, with at least 25% by a sworn law enforcement supervisor. A list of all EFARs will be compiled on an EFAR Witness Form.

3.4.3.      Total payments over $250 will be witnessed by a supervisor.

3.4.4.      Part 1 (the original white copy) is given to the member’s supervisor on the same day the funds are disbursed. This copy will be kept in the agent/informant’s product/activity file.

3.4.5.      Part 2 (the pink copy) will be retained by the member until the end of the month, and attached with the EFAR Witness Form to the monthly EFER as part of the required documentation.

3.4.6.      Part 3 (the yellow copy) may be retained by the member for their files. In the event the member should no longer wish to keep the yellow copy, it will be destroyed by such means provided for the destruction of sensitive information.

3.5.   EFAR Witness Form:

3.5.1.      Provides the member’s monthly total of EFARs and the percentage of EFARs witnessed. This completed form will be submitted by the member with the EFER.

3.6.   Disbursal limitations.

3.6.1.      Funds disbursal is limited to the following amounts unless a supervisor pre-approves exceeding the expenditure limit:            A supervisory sergeant may approve up to $500.            A lieutenant may approve up to $2,500.            A Responsibility Unit Manager may approve up to $5,000.            Amounts over $5,000 must be approved by the appropriate Assistant Chief or the Chief of Police.

3.6.2.      Flash-roll funds used as show money, with the expectation of full recovery and immediate return to the fund, may be authorized by a Responsibility Unit Manager in an amount limited to $50,000. Use of the amounts over this limit must be approved by the appropriate Assistant Chief or the Chief of Police. Flash-roll amounts will always be returned to the Responsibility Unit safe prior to the end of the shift, unless prior approval has been obtained from a Responsibility Unit Manager.

3.7.   Issue of funds to other Responsibility Units:

3.7.1.      Funds may be disbursed to members of other Responsibility Units where evidence funds are not available, or outside agencies using the following criteria:            Members seeking funds must have approval from a supervisor regarding necessity and use of funds for an investigation.            If a supervisor agrees funds are necessary, the supervisor will contact the Responsibility Unit having available funds or responsibility for the crime/investigation, which is being pursued, and request the funds.            A supervisor of the disbursing Responsibility Unit will evaluate the request and disburse the funds within the guidelines of this directive and any applicable Responsibility Unit Standard Operating Procedure.            Members of all units and outside agencies that receive funds will be required to account for those funds at the end of the month.            An EFER book will also be issued when funds are disbursed to a unit or outside agency that does not have evidence funds. The individual expending the evidence funds will be responsible for completing the report and returning it to the issuing Responsibility Unit by the end of the month or explain the carryover by memorandum.            All loans to Responsibility Units or outside agencies are to be strictly limited. All reimbursements and loans will be accompanied by the Loan Receipt Form. The Responsibility Unit or outside agency receiving the loan will be responsible for completing an EFER, and will include the Loan Receipt Form.

3.8.   Unexpected return of funds:

3.8.1.      When an unexpected return of funds occurs (e.g. from a defendant by court order, insurance company, other police agency, etc.) and the funds were written off in a prior month, the return will be treated as new funds, and processed as follows:            A check will be made out to the City of Portland, Bureau of Police, with the name of the Responsibility Unit and the name of the evidence fund on the memo line.            The member receiving the check will write an inter-office memo to the Responsibility Unit Manager detailing who the check is from, amount, reason for return, case number(s), subject(s) involved in the case and any other pertinent information.            Two copies of all documents will be obtained. The first copy set and the check will be delivered to Fiscal for deposit to the General Fund. The second copy set will be retained in the Responsibility Unit files.            Exception: Funds expended on an investigation that will be reimbursed by another agency (e.g., Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)/Homeland Security Investigations (HIS)/Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)) will be treated as an expected return and will go directly to the Responsibility Unit’s evidence fund.                  Example: DEA/HSI/FBI agrees to fund up to $5,000 for a narcotic investigation that Drugs and Vice Division (DVD) is running. DVD expends money from their evidence fund for the case and then submits a bill to DEA/HSI/FBI for reimbursement. The money from DEA/HSI/FBI is then added to DVD’s evidence fund as an Expected Return. A memo is added to the monthly accounting packet detailing the transaction.

3.8.2.      When an unexpected return of evidence funds occurs from an agent/ informant who, for any reason, did not use the funds as expected, the member receiving the money will complete an inter-office memo detailing who the money is from, the amount, the reason for the return, case number(s) involved, subject(s) involved in the case, and any other pertinent information. Funds recovered from defendants will be processed as evidence. The memo and funds will be delivered to the Responsibility Unit accountant, who will add the money back to the evidence fund and record the return to the Credits column of the Master Balance Ledger. The Responsibility Unit accountant will also attach a copy of the interoffice memorandum to the accounting packet behind the Responsibility Unit draw receipts.

4. Property and Evidence – Disposition and Handling:

4.1.   Any property or evidence acquired with evidence funds will be processed through the Property/Evidence Division (PED) and/or Crime Lab, as appropriate (refer to Directive 660.10, Property and Evidence Procedure).

4.2.   The Property/Evidence Receipt number(s), listing the item, will be noted on the member’s monthly EFER.

4.3.   Evidence funds recovered during the course of an investigation will not be placed in the Property Room.

4.3.1.      Photocopies of the money, initialed and dated, will be placed in the Property Room as evidence.

4.3.2.      The actual evidence fund money will be returned to the appropriate fund.

4.3.3.      Any reports written will reflect the above listed information.

4.4.   Property legitimately purchased with evidence funds for resale in furthering an investigation will be accounted for in the following manner:

4.4.1.      A Responsibility Unit will maintain an inventory listing each piece of property and the following information:            Purchase date and price.            Date sold and price received.            Location of property.            Name of defendant(s).            Case number(s).            Disposition of case(s) and property.

4.4.2.      The property must be secured in a locked facility in or near a Responsibility Unit, or may be temporarily placed in the Property Room.

4.4.3.      If the property is recovered and it may be resold again in continuance of an investigation, it will be returned to the inventory list.

4.4.4.      Should money other than the City’s Evidence Funds be used to purchase property, all restrictions or requirements that apply to that funding source will be considered before disposal of the property occurs.

4.4.5.      Property no longer necessary will be released to Property/Evidence Division for disposal. If the property is sold, a City ordinance is required for the Responsibility Unit to recover the proceeds of the sale.

5. Responsibilities:

5.1.   Members/investigators will:

5.1.1.      Familiarize themselves with all sections of this Directive and Directives 660.32, Agent/Informant Processing, 660.33, Informants, 650.00, Search, Seizures, and Inventories, and 652.00, Search Warrants.

5.1.2.      Document all evidence fund draws and expenditures on the monthly EFER.

5.1.3.      Keep their supervisor constantly informed regarding use of funds and problems and/or results regarding funds.

5.2.   Supervisory sergeants will:

5.2.1.      Closely supervise assigned members to ensure the proper use of funds, completeness and correctness of EFARs (with Witness Form) and monthly EFERs (returned for correction if necessary), legality of operations, and informant productivity.

5.2.2.      Ensure an explanatory memo is written to the Responsibility Unit Manager detailing any extraordinary occurrence in evidence fund usage (e.g., carryovers, unexpected returns, corrections to prior months, etc.).

5.2.3.      Sign and forward the completed monthly EFERs to the Responsibility Unit lieutenant. 

5.3.   Lieutenants will:

5.3.1.      Review a sergeant’s supervision of assigned members to ensure proper use of funds, EFARs, EFAR Witness Forms, monthly EFERs and legality of operations.

5.3.2.      After review/approval, forward the above forms to the Responsibility Unit accountant, on or before the tenth (10th) of the following month.

5.3.3.      When filing EFARs (white copy), check signatures against the agent’s signature exemplar; immediately advise the Responsibility Unit Manager of any questionable signatures.

5.3.4.      Routinely review individual informant performance compared to payments received.

5.4.   Responsibility Unit accountants will:

5.4.1.      Balance the Master Balance Ledger monthly with the cash on hand in the safe. Immediately notify the Responsibility Unit Manager if a discrepancy is discovered.

5.4.2.      Balance the Master Balance Ledger in the following manner:            On the first day of the new month, excluding holidays, close out and balance the Master Balance Ledger.            Count the cash on hand. The total must agree with the total shown in the Balance column of the ledger.            Enter the ending balance from the Balance column at the top of a new page as the beginning balance for the new month.            Double check the ending balance accuracy by:                  Totaling the Credits column.                  Adding that total to the beginning balance shown at the first of the month being accounted for, to get a sub-total.                  Totaling the Debits column.                  Subtracting the total Debits amount from the sub-total. This amount will equal the ending balance.            Example:                  Beginning Balance                         $1,234.58                  Evidence Fund Draw (Fiscal)         $5,000.00                  Unexpected Returns                             $0.00                  Returns                                          $1,000.00                  Sub Total                                       $7,234.58                  Issued Funds                                 $1,500.00                  Ending Balance                             $5,734.58            When reconciled, sign with rank, name and Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST) number.            Should the ending balance or cash on hand not agree with the total shown in the Balance column:                  Recount the cash on hand.                  Check the mathematical accuracy of each ledger computation.                  Check the data accuracy of each ledger entry.            If no balance can be reached, notify the Responsibility Unit Manager immediately.

5.4.3.      Upon receipt of the completed monthly EFERs, EFARs and EFAR Witness Forms from the lieutenant, check the reports for balance, documentation, completeness, and accuracy and obtain the appropriate information to complete the final evidence fund(s) accounting.

5.4.4.      Complete the Evidence Funds Accounting Form to summarize information from the members’ monthly EFERs.

5.4.5.      Prepare the accounting packet after completing the monthly accounting. The packet will include the following:            Evidence Funds Accounting Form.            Copies of all Draw Requests.            Documentation of unexpected returns of funds that have been written off in prior months.            Members’ monthly EFERs, in alphabetical order, with all required documentation attached (EFARs, EFAR Witness Forms, special explanations, etc.).

5.4.6.      Submit the accounting packet to the Responsibility Unit Manager no later than the twentieth (20th) day of the following month.

5.4.7.      File and maintain, by year and month, the returned accounting packet in a locked file cabinet for a minimum of five (5) years.

5.4.8.      Purge monthly summary packets, including forms and ledger, after five (5) years.

5.5.   Responsibility Unit Managers will:

5.5.1.      Have overall responsibility for supervision of evidence fund activities and effectiveness of all assigned members.

5.5.2.      Request monthly draws from the City Evidence Fund (or other authorized sources).

5.5.3.      Ensure the Master Balance Ledger(s) is balanced monthly. This requires counting the cash on hand and checking the amount against the balance shown in the ledger. When reconciled, sign under the Responsibility Unit accountant’s signature with rank, name and Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST) number.

5.5.4.      Ensure that periodic spot-checks of EFERs show total money draws and expenditures. EFER and cash on hand should match. Identify and ensure that key supervisory personnel verify spot-checks by marking their initials and date of spot-check in legible handwriting on the EFER.

5.5.5.      Review all monthly EFERs to ensure proper documentation, accuracy and completeness, returning the report to a lieutenant for corrective action if required.

5.5.6.      After determining the reports are correct, sign the accounting packet cover sheet and forward the packet to the respective Assistant Chief for review no later than the twenty-fifth (25th) day of the following month.

5.5.7.      Should a discrepancy occur in the monthly balance of Responsibility Unit evidence funds, draft a memo to be included in the accounting packet that describes the problem and all actions taken to solve and/or correct the problem.

5.5.8.      Ensure that the accounting packet, when returned, is filed by year and month in a locked file cabinet and retained for five (5) years before it is purged.

5.5.9.      May authorize use of evidence funds for schools/seminars, when reimbursement is fully expected.

5.5.10.  Arrange for a complete audit of Responsibility Unit evidence funds at least once every odd number year. This audit will include pulling related investigative reports from the Records Division, and tracking these reports through the system. Responsibility Unit audit results will be documented in a memorandum to the appropriate Assistant Chief.

5.6.   Assistant Chiefs will:

5.6.1.      Have the overall responsibility and accountability to the Chief of Police for evidence funds money expended by Responsibility Units assigned to their branch.

5.6.2.      Review the Evidence Funds Accounting Packet of assigned Responsibility Unit to ensure funds have been properly expended and accounted for, resolving any problems or questions, if possible.

5.6.3.      When satisfied that accounting packets are complete and accurate, sign the cover sheet of packets and return them to the appropriate Responsibility Units for filing.

5.6.4.      Maintain a copy of the cover sheets within their files.

5.7.   The Assistant Chief of Investigations will:

5.7.1.      Arrange for a complete audit of all Bureau evidence funds at least once each every even numbered year, in consultation with the Drugs and Vice Division. This audit will include pulling related investigative reports from the Records Division, and tracking these reports through the system. Audit results will be documented in a memorandum forwarded to the Chief of Police.

5.7.2.      Arrange for Drugs and Vice Division random spot check/audit of funds at unscheduled times throughout the year, with special attention given to potential problem areas.  Ensure that the Drugs and Vice Division assists units/divisions with training of current and new key personnel in evidence fund procedures.

5.7.3.      Ensure that during the even numbered year all Bureau evidence fund audit that members from outside of the Drugs and Vice Division are assigned to the audit team and are responsible to conduct the audit of Drugs and Vice Division evidence funds.   


  • Originating Directive Effective: 09/01/06
  • First Revision Effective: 09/26/02
  • Second Revision Effective: 03/14/16
  • Next Review Date: 03/14/18
  • Review By: Investigations Branch