Property & Evidence Control
The Archdale Police Department considers the care and control of property and evidence to be a high priority. All property or evidence associated with a crime is sent to one central location for processing and storage. The evidence and property custodians are responsible for the care, custody, and control of all property recovered by the department and all evidence generated during the investigation of a crime.
Types of Recovered Property
Property is generally an item which was stolen and then recovered by a citizen or police officer, or an item which was found by a citizen and turned over to the police department. The Archdale Police Department recovers many pieces of property each year, including bicycles, tools, and stereo equipment. Bicycles are the most commonly recovered items.
Managing Recovered Property
When property is turned in to the department, it is booked into a secure room for safekeeping while the police attempt to locate the owner. In some cases the property is easily traced to the owner and released in a matter of days. In other cases no information exists to begin a search, so the property remains unclaimed. Once all legal processes are completed, unclaimed property is either destroyed or sold at public auction. All proceeds from the property sold, as well as unclaimed found money, are awarded to the Randolph County Public School System as prescribed by law.
An item is considered to be evidence if it relates to the commission of a crime which is currently under investigation. The requirements of the criminal justice system are such that evidence must be handled with great care. Documentation of who examines, handles, or takes possession of an item (chain of custody), is strictly monitored. Evidence is kept in a vault where entry is limited to the evidence custodian and the alternate evidence custodian. These measures are necessary to protect and control large amounts of cash, illegal drugs, drug paraphernalia, and weapons.
Evidence is maintained until a case reaches a conclusion. The evidence is then returned to the rightful owner or destroyed in compliance with state and federal laws.