10-400 Property and Evidence
- Property – any material object of value, however slight, tangible or intangible to which an owner has a legal right.
- Evidence – documentary or oral statements and material objects admissible as testimony in a court of law.
All MPD employees taking possession of property, whether evidentiary or non-evidentiary, shall place such property in the custody of the Property and Evidence Unit and complete the inventory prior to the end of their shift. The inventory shall include all evidence seized regardless of whether an arrest has been made. This includes sworn employees working off-duty employment. (04/01/93) (02/19/02) (12/14/07)
Exceptions to this requirement:
- Property or evidence recovered by Crime Lab personnel, and
- Sworn MPD employees taking custody of evidence requiring immediate review, which has been obtained in a search warrant. In these instances, all items shall be property inventoried as soon as practical. It is strongly advised that all suspected narcotics, cash and firearms be inventoried prior to the end of the sworn MPD employee’s shift. Until items are property inventoried, the investigator is responsible for assuring that the items recovered are securely stored and the chain-of-custody is maintained.
Investigative personnel shall property inventory evidence created during the course of an investigation (such as audio/video recordings of interviews) as soon as practical given the nature of the case.
The clothing and all personal effects used to identify an arrested person shall be inventoried by the arresting or assisting, sworn employee(s). When a suspect is charged or released, the case investigator shall decide if the suspect's clothing and/or personal effects need to be held as evidence. If there is no legal basis to hold the items, the investigator shall immediately authorize release of the items via the CAPRS system.
Due to facility and personal safety concerns, the Property and Evidence Unit will not accept items containing unknown contents unless a search warrant to open or examine the item is being obtained. This includes, but is not limited to: locked safes, briefcases and luggage. Officers and Investigators should contact the Property and Evidence Unit before bringing in these types of items.
Cash, jewelry, narcotics and firearms are only accessible when a Property and Evidence supervisor is on site.
Employees shall not retain any property or evidence that has come into their possession through the course of their official duties, for personal use.
Property and Evidence (P&E) Unit personnel will set standards for receiving, documenting and securing all items inventoried. The Property and Evidence Unit Procedure Manual outlines procedures for handling evidence and carrying out property inventories in detail.
Only property held for safekeeping and items obtained as the result of misdemeanor arrests shall be inventoried in the temporary precinct lockers. Officers are responsible for ensuring all items obtained as a result of a felony arrest are inventoried in the Property and Evidence Unit prior to the end of their shift.
All video surveillance and digital media shall be property inventoried according to policy prior to the end of the officer’s shift.
*Under no circumstances shall firearms or narcotics be property inventoried in precinct lockers.
MPD employees who property inventory items during hours which the Property and Evidence Unit is closed, shall follow these guidelines and procedures:
- A Property Inventory Form shall be completed for all items being inventoried. Identifying marks including serial number, make, model, etc shall be documented if known.
- All property and evidence to be placed in the custody of the Property and Evidence Unit shall be placed by the MPD employee completing the Property Inventory Form into one of the lockers provided. It is that employee’s responsibility to ensure the locker(s) are securely locked.
- Items of evidence that are placed in the MPD Property and Evidence lockers to be held for DNA processing must be packaged in clean, unused paper bags or envelopes to prevent any cross-contamination. Unpackaged items of evidence that are placed in a locker will not be processed for DNA evidence. (01/13/16)
- Items too large to be placed in the evidence lockers may be placed on the floor near the lockers and the completed Property Inventory Form placed in the slotted locker.
- Large quantities (exceeding available secured locker space) of property and/or evidence, or items of extreme value shall not be placed in evidence lockers. In these cases, the Property and Evidence Unit Supervisor shall be notified via MECC of the circumstances.
- Firearms inventoried during hours the Property and Evidence Unit is closed shall be placed in the secured lockers with a completed Property Inventory Form, an evidence tag attached to the trigger guard and a notification to Property and Evidence personnel that the locker contains a firearm.
- Items contaminated by significant amounts of liquid, bodily fluids or unknown substances shall not be placed in evidence lockers. When the Property and Evidence Unit is closed, sworn employees and Crime Lab personnel shall transport such evidence to the Property and Evidence Unit Blood Room and complete a Property Inventory Form. Sworn employees shall contact personnel from the Crime Lab or Car 710 to obtain access to the Blood Room.
- Guidelines for property inventorying evidence are posted in the Blood Room and Property/Evidence Unit secured locker area. (Also refer to Section 10-421 Property and Evidence Unit Blood Room Procedures.)
When transporting items contaminated by bodily fluids or unknown substance(s), use a leak proof container, double or triple bagging the evidence if necessary. Advise Property and Evidence Unit personnel of any possible contaminants on or inside the evidence.
If the Property and Evidence Unit is closed, mark the container as "CONTAMINATED" or "CAUTION" and note on the Property Inventory Form in large, bold letters that the objects of the inventory may be contaminated. Items that are wet shall be inventoried according to Property and Evidence Blood Room procedures. Refer to Section 10-421, Property and Evidence Blood Room Procedures.
Needles are to be packaged in puncture proof containers. Sworn employees should not disassemble needles or syringes. The Property and Evidence Unit has Syringe Safety Kits available to all personnel. (04/01/93)
Upon inventory, Property and Evidence Unit personnel shall determine the appropriate method for packaging and storage of all property and evidence, based on available information regarding circumstances of the case.
MPD employees may mark or label evidence recovered from a scene or involved persons. Marking evidence may assist with the case investigation. Items should be marked with the following information: badge number, date and time of recovery, case control number and other identifying information (if needed).
MPD employees may mark or label items using markers, tape, tags, containers or envelopes. Property and/or evidence shall not be marked in such a way as to ruin the evidentiary value or render the items useless. The employee marking the item shall retain custody of the property/evidence until it is inventoried at the Property and Evidence Unit.
All persons viewing or taking custody of property/evidence from the Property and Evidence Unit, shall sign the Property Inventory form as requested by Property and Evidence Unit personnel. The employee signing for evidence is responsible for that evidence until it is turned over to the court, returned to the owner, or returned to the Property and Evidence Unit.
10-404.01 MARKING FIREARMS (12/14/07)
The MPD employee(s) responsible for property inventorying firearm(s) shall complete a ‘trigger tag’ and have it attached to the trigger guard area (if possible). Trigger tags shall be completed with the following information: badge number, date and time of recovery, serial number, case control number and any other identifying information.
All property and evidence inventoried at the Minneapolis Property and Evidence Unit is subject to verification by Unit personnel prior to inventory. Not all items are required to be in a sealed package. Situations in which the integrity of evidence may be compromised by unsealing will be handled on a case-by-case basis.
Only MPD employees shall be allowed to sign-out evidence requiring testing or analysis.
All other persons (not MPD employees) signing out property from the Property and Evidence Unit for testing or analysis shall have authorization to do so granted via CAPRS for the specific item(s), from the case investigator or the Commander of the unit to which the case is routed prior to signing the chain-of-custody. This includes evidence being transferred to outside agencies (ATF, DEA, FBI, etc.).
10-406.01 EVIDENCE HELD FOR LATENT PRINT AND/OR DNA PROCESSING (04/16/12) (06/10/13)
1. Employees collecting items containing potential latent print and/or DNA evidence shall wear
gloves during the evidence collection and property inventory processes and avoid touching
areas most likely to have been handled by suspect(s), whenever possible.
2. Any item to include firearms, knives or other object that was reportedly handled by the
suspect or arrestee during any type of assault or threatened assault shall be collected using
latex gloves and held for latent print and/or DNA processing. (06/10/13)
3. The reporting officer shall note in his/her report that the item was handled in such a manner
and that the item is held for latent print and/or DNA processing. (06/10/13)
4. MPD personnel shall advise Property and Evidence Unit personnel when items are to be held
for latent print and/or DNA evidence processing. (06/10/13)
5. When applicable, MPD Evidence Locker Voucher (MP-9009) shall be completed and all
items to be held for latent print and/or DNA processing shall be appropriately
6. Items not documented to be held for latent print or DNA processing will not be processed by
the Crime Lab Unit. (06/10/13)
10‑406.02 ORIGINAL VIDEO EVIDENCE (04/16/12) (06/27/14)
Cash envelopes containing more than $200.00 shall have the signature and employee number of a supervisor on the envelope. Sworn employees may issue a MPD Receipt for Currency (Form MP-3414) to the person from whom the cash was obtained.
Sworn employees shall list the denominations and document the amount of cash confiscated and property inventoried in the corresponding CAPRS police report.
If special circumstances exist such as the need for latent prints, biohazards are present, and/or special handling is necessary, sworn employees shall indicate this to the Property and Evidence Unit personnel assisting them or on the Property Inventory form submitted with the items, if placed in a secured locker.
U.S. and foreign currency shall be placed in separate envelopes and inventoried. Foreign currency will be listed at no value.
10-407.01 COUNTERFEIT CURRENCY (12/14/07)
All suspected counterfeit currency shall be inventoried separate from other currency, and detailed by denomination and serial number. On a regular basis, the United States Secret Service obtains and analyzes suspected counterfeit U.S. Currency from the Property and Evidence Unit. If suspected counterfeit currency is determined to be authentic, the Property and Evidence Unit shall make the proper notifications and release the currency to the rightful owner.
Under no circumstances are loaded weapons to be brought into the processing area of the Property and Evidence Unit (with exception of sworn employees’ duty weapons). Firearms that are to remain loaded, or that may be ‘jammed’ shall be secured in an evidence locker along with a completed Property Inventory Form indicating the condition of the item(s) as well as documenting the serial number, make and model, if known. The outside of the locker shall also be flagged in a way as to notify Property and Evidence Unit personnel of a potentially loaded or ‘jammed’ firearm.
The sworn employee(s) or assisting employee(s) for the incident shall complete a CAPRS report detailing circumstances of the recovery of the firearm and identifying involved parties.
Latent prints (i.e., fingerprints, palm prints, footprints) recovered at crime scenes by trained precinct officers or investigators shall be property inventoried in the Property and Evidence Unit and noted in the respective CAPRS report. (12/14/07)
On a regular basis, Crime Lab personnel will sign latent prints out of the Property and Evidence Unit for evaluation, entry into MAFIN, and comparison purposes.
Crime Lab personnel shall enter a CAPRS supplement, indicating the results of the evaluation and return the latent prints to the Property and Evidence Unit. (12/14/07)
When sworn employees encounter a situation involving suspected explosives, hazardous or potentially hazardous chemicals at a scene, they shall notify MECC who in turn will notify and advise Arson/Bomb Unit personnel of the circumstances. Arson/Bomb Unit personnel shall determine the appropriate response.
In most circumstances, the Property and Evidence Unit will accept and property inventory fireworks. The Property and Evidence Unit shall notify the Bomb Unit upon inventory, and the Bomb Unit will take custody of the fireworks for storage and/or disposal.
If Property and Evidence Unit personnel determine that inventory of fireworks is not possible due to the quantity or the presence of a safety hazard, the Property and Evidence Unit Supervisor shall be notified and MECC contacted to summon Bomb Unit personnel.
Hospital staff may remove clothing and personal items from the individual being evaluated or treated. The sworn employee(s) assigned the call shall take custody of such items unless directed otherwise by a supervisor. The sworn employee receiving custody, shall property inventory all evidence at the Property and Evidence Unit. If circumstances do not allow for the transfer of evidence immediately, the hospital may retain the clothing and/or personal effects for an Investigator, their designee, or Property and Evidence Unit personnel to pick up and inventory at a later time.
MPD employees releasing any property not already inventoried by the Property and Evidence Unit shall complete a handwritten Property Inventory Form, detailing the item(s) of property being released. The name and address of the individual to whom the property is released shall be clearly printed on the form. The individual receiving the property shall sign above their printed name. The completed Property Inventory Form shall then be forwarded to the Property and Evidence Unit to be documented and placed on file.
Only personnel and visitors who have valid MPD business are allowed entry in to the Property and Evidence Unit. All personnel and visitors shall sign-in and sign-out on the designated form. All non-MPD visitors shall be escorted by Property and Evidence Unit personnel while in the unit.
In the event an unauthorized entry is made the following procedures shall be followed:
- Immediately notify the Property and Evidence Unit Supervisor and on-duty Watch Commander. (If there is no Deputy Chief or Watch Commander on duty, an e-mail documenting the incident shall be sent to the Deputy Chief of Investigations Bureau by the P&E Unit Supervisor or their designee.)
- A uniformed officer shall be dispatched to take a police report.
- All evidence pertaining to the unauthorized entry shall be immediately identified and documented. (Locations of surveillance video, witness statements, etc.)
Assigned case investigators are responsible for indicating the disposition of evidence in CAPRS when a case is closed or inactivated. If an investigator indicates the disposition of evidence is to be held for "Adjudication," a date shall be entered which is consistent with the state statute of limitations. If evidence is to be retained for a longer period of time, it is the responsibility of the investigator to update the disposition status, including the date. A supplement shall be entered to the case indicating the reason for the extended retention period.
No narcotic drug or controlled substance shall be released from the Property and Evidence Unit without written authorization given to the Supervisor of the Property and Evidence Unit or their designee, from the Commander of the Narcotics Unit. Exceptions to this policy are signing out evidence for court or testing by the City chemist or BCA.
Release of narcotic drugs or controlled substances for the purpose of training must be authorized in writing by the Commander of the Narcotics Unit and coordinated with the Supervisor of the Property and Evidence Unit.
Only the Criminal Investigations Division Commander, or their designee, has the authority to release firearms that have been inventoried in the Property and Evidence Unit. The Commander, or their designee, shall contact the case investigator(s) and the relevant City, County, and/or Federal attorney(s) regarding the evidentiary status of the concerned firearm. The release given by the Commander or their designee is validation that the firearm is no longer needed for evidentiary purposes in connection with the criminal investigation. This validation shall be documented by adding a supplement to the associated and original CAPRS reports.
The release of the firearm to the owner shall be done through the Property and Evidence Unit. Prior to the release of the firearm to the owner, Property and Evidence Unit personnel will ensure that the firearm is released pursuant to Minn. Stat. §624.713. Firearms shall be released from the Property and Evidence Unit Warehouse location by appointment only.
Assigned case investigators or the Commander of the unit to which the case has been routed may release non-firearms type weapons.
The Internal Affairs Unit Commander, or their designee, has the authority to place a hold on any property including firearms and other weapons that are seized in connection with an administrative investigation or an internal criminal investigation. Property that is placed on such a hold may only be released with the authorization of the Internal Affairs Unit Commander or their designee. The release given is validation that the property is no longer needed for evidentiary purposes in connection with the investigation. (12/14/07)
Property and Evidence Unit personnel will only release property to the true owner unless the owner waives their title to the property in writing (notarized letter).
When the owner is unknown to the department, the owner has waived title in writing, or it has been determined that the property has been abandoned per state statute, the property shall be:
- Released to the finder at their request after six months have elapsed for general property or after 30 days for bikes (this excludes MPD sworn or civilian employees, and other City of Minneapolis employees acting within the scope of their employment at the time the property was found);
- Placed in a police auction; or
- Donated to a recognized charity (04/01/93)
All property received into evidence in court shall remain in the custody of the court until disposition is made by order of the court.
All items of property or evidence which are checked out of the Property and Evidence Unit for court, must be returned to the Unit by the end of the day, unless retained by the court as an exhibit. (01/23/14)
If an item (or items) are retained by the court for evidence, the person checking the evidence out must provide a copy of the court exhibit list to the Property and Evidence Unit prior to the end of the shift. If a court exhibit list is not available, the person must provide a signature and written notification at the Property and Evidence Unit indicating the evidence was retained by the court. (01/23/14)
All property of reasonable value which has the serial number removed or altered, with the exception of firearms, shall be engraved with the initials "MPD" and the appropriate case control number, and shall be included in any sale or auction if the rightful owner cannot be determined. (12/14/07)
EXAMPLE: MPD CCN 07-123456
(02/11/00) (11/03/06) (12/14/07)
A suspected alcoholic beverage in its original container shall be property inventoried when it is evidence of any crime.
For felony-level cases and the following specific offenses, the original container and its contents shall be inventoried in the condition which they were recovered. No sample is necessary.
- Open Bottle in a Motor Vehicle
- Driving Under the Influence
- Liquor sales license violations
- Criminal Sexual Conduct
- Minor in Possession of Alcohol
- All other juvenile related offenses
For misdemeanor offenses involving suspected alcoholic beverages, such as public consumption, sworn employees or Community Service Officers shall take a sample of the suspected alcoholic beverage and empty the original container. Both the sample and empty container/packaging shall be property inventoried together.
Upon inventory, Property and Evidence personnel shall photograph the original container/packaging along with the sample of the contents in the liquid evidence container, and dispose of the original container after the inventory process is complete.
When the Property and Evidence Unit is closed: Sworn employees and Community Service Officers shall complete a handwritten inventory form and include it with the alcohol sample and container submitted.
10-421 PROPERTY AND EVIDENCE UNIT BLOOD ROOM PROCEDURES (12/14/07)
Access to the Blood Room shall be made through the Property and Evidence Unit during hours which the Unit is open. When the Unit is closed, sworn employees shall contact the Crime Lab or Car 710 to gain access. (12/22/08)
The following procedures shall be followed when placing evidence in the Blood Room.
- The Blood Room door should be closed when working inside to assist with optimal ventilation.
- Place paper under any items to be dried. This is to catch any possible (trace) evidence that may come off of the items as they dry.
- Items may be hung from hangers or placed flat to dry. Hanging dividers are provided to separate items obtained by person and/or CCN.
- Leave space between items that are drying so that air can circulate around them.
- Mark all items with the CCN and person/location from which they were obtained.
- Tags and twist ties are supplied for this purpose.
- Urine kits, DNA kits, SAE kits or any other item needing refrigeration shall be placed in the small evidence refrigerator in the Blood Room.
- All items placed in the Blood Room shall have two copies of the Property Inventory Forms completed. One copy shall be left with the items placed in the Blood Room; the other copy shall be placed in the slotted locker located in the secured lockers area adjacent to the Property and Evidence Unit entry. This is to ensure Property and Evidence Unit personnel are made aware of any items awaiting inventory.
10-422 CONVERTING PROPERTY/EVIDENCE FOR DEPARTMENT USE (12/14/07)
10-423 EMPLOYEE CELL PHONES AND RECORDING DEVICES USED TO CAPTURE EVIDENCE (07/25/13) (05/29/18)
A. Employees shall only use department-issued recording devices, including but not limited to Body Worn Cameras, Mobile Video Recorders (MVR), and department-issued cell phones and digital cameras, to capture video, audio and photographic data.
B. All electronic data that could be considered evidence, when captured by an MPD-owned device while on or off duty in any capacity, or when captured by another device during the course of an employee’s duties, is considered to be government data and the property of MPD and may only be distributed in accordance with department policy. (See 4-501 Confidential Department Records, Reports and Information.)
C. The mandatory protocol for transferring captured evidence from an employee’s device to MPD custody is as follows:
1. Evidence from cell phones
All photographic images or video captured using a cell phone shall be immediately uploaded into evidence.com and labeled according to the uploading and classification standards in P&P 4-223 Body Worn Cameras.
2. Evidence from digital cameras
a. All photographic images captured using a digital camera or recording device shall be immediately uploaded into the Digital Information Management System (DIMS) in accordance with P&P 4-217 Digital Cameras and Digital Information Management System (DIMS).
b. All video captured using a digital camera or recording device shall be immediately burned to a CD/DVD and property inventoried.
3. Evidence from Body Worn Cameras (BWCs)
BWC data shall be uploaded in accordance with P&P 4-223 Body Worn Cameras.
4. Evidence from Mobile Video Recorders (MVR)
MVR data shall be uploaded in accordance with P&P 4-218 Mobile and Video Recording (MVR) Policy.
D. The cell phone or recording device may be subpoenaed at a later time by defense attorneys to be subjected to a forensic analysis. The device may be retained on a litigation hold for an extended period of time.
For a forensic analysis:
1. The cell phone or other recording device containing evidentiary photos or recordings shall immediately be property inventoried. The minimum turnaround time for processing is 24 hours, and the process could take up to a few weeks.
2. Employees shall provide the lock code to the device (if applicable) so the Crime Lab can access the data stored on the device.
3. In the process of a forensic analysis, all content stored on the device which captured the evidentiary photos or recordings shall remain unchanged. Text messages, photos, emails or other data stored on the device shall not be modified or deleted. This includes all content not related to the data captured as evidence.
4. The Crime Lab will process the evidence in the same manner all other phones or recording devices are handled. There are no exceptions.
5. “Processing” a phone or other recording device means all of the current data on the device could be extracted (not just an individual photo or recording), depending on the nature of the litigation. The data that could be extracted includes:
· Call history
· Text messages
· Contacts list
· All images
· All video
· All audio
· Deleted data files
6. A copy of all the court-ordered extracted data will be provided as part of an evidentiary request. This is standard procedure and personal or other unrelated data captured on phones or recording devices will not be redacted or deleted.
7. Once processing is complete, the device will be returned to the Property and Evidence Unit and a release from an investigator must be entered prior to retrieval by the employee.
Last updated May 29, 2018