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On a regular basis, one can find law enforcement agencies that are under scrutiny as a result of allegations of improperly handled evidence and property. The property and evidence function is a critical task. Often it is not recognized just how important this function is until the evidence in a criminal case is lost, pilfered or contaminated, and the department is facing outside scrutiny from the public, media and members of the court.
Evidence to be presented in court must be handled in a scrupulously careful manner with detailed chain of custody documentation to avoid defense challenges. The chain of custody requires that from the moment the evidence is collected, every transfer of evidence from person to person be documented and that it be provable that nobody else could have accessed that evidence.