The Police Department Property Unit is an entity of our agency that very few people have the opportunity to see. The Property Unit is charged with the safekeeping of all property obtained through criminal investigations, as well as found or confiscated property. It is our policy to ensure that property in our custody:
- Is properly secured, packaged, labeled and stored
- Is readily retrievable
- That any changes in its custody are properly and fully documented
With our growing criminal case load, the volume of property also continues to grow. In 2007, a second property room was created for long term retention items, and large case files. In an average year, we receive approximately 4,300 items into its custody. In total, we maintain custody of in excess of 12,000 items.
The Property Unit is critical to supporting investigations, assisting in successful prosecution at criminal and civil trials, in facilitating the timely return of property to its rightful owners, and in maintaining the public's confidence and trust. The Property Unit is responsible for protecting all property submitted as evidence and for maintaining an uninterrupted chain of custody. Evidence control is maintained by records management computer software. Security measures ensure restricted access, and inspections provide ongoing review of control procedures, correct and secure labeling, and continued organized status of evidence rooms. Bi-yearly audits are conducted to ensure that all items are accounted for and procedures are being followed.
The Property Unit is supervised by a Patrol Division Lieutenant, with the day-to-day business operations assigned to a Technical Office Specialist. All evidence room staff are required to attend the International Association of Property and Evidence Certification Course. A detailed Property Management Policy is followed by all officers to ensure uniform procedures and methods for receiving, recording, securing and releasing property taken into custody and stored under department protection.
The Property Unit also processes and holds all Found Property for the City of Moorhead. Items are held for a period of 60 days and then are disposed of after all reasonable attempts to contact the owner have been exhausted. All items disposed of that are appropriate for resale, are sold in public auctions.
If you have any questions about the Property Unit, please contact Property Staff or call 218.299.5120.