Abstract

Law enforcement agencies often cover wide geographical areas and rely on the use of temporary
storage of evidence at stations or other remote facilities. These station-level property rooms are
an early link in the chain of custody for any seized evidence or property. This study examined
the processes, policies, procedures, and performance associated with the storage and
transportation of such property and evidence. Interviews and a survey questionnaire instrument
were used to define the actual process and gauge comprehension and adherence to existing
policies, and capture qualitative feedback. In addition, inventory and chain of custody logs were
thoroughly examined and verified by audits. This study serves to identify gaps in the chain of
custody at the district station level of a large suburban law enforcement agency in the South East
United States.