Positive Progress in the Firestone Police Department: Evidence Audit Update
In the spring of 2021, the Firestone Police Department brought in an independent contractor to conduct an audit of the property and evidence room and procedures.
This audit highlighted many operational issues and concluded that property and evidence were not being managed according to nationally recognized professional standards and, in some cases, not following state law. Some of the most severe deficiencies regarding the evidence and property room operations included failure to comply with state law regarding the transfer of firearms and failure to submit Sexual Assault Nurse Examinations ("SANE") kits to the Colorado Bureau of Investigations. Additionally, firearms were released absent the required clearance by a federal database, drugs were being stored with general evidence, and the evidence records could not be reconciled as the department used two different recording systems.
The Police Department understood the severity of these audit results and immediately began implementing changes to ensure compliance with professional standards and the law.
Organization of the evidence room into designated property types (General Evidence, Found, Safekeeping, Biologicals, Death Investigations, Sex Assault Cases)
Developed a process to coordinate with detectives and notify Command Staff of receipt of sexual assault kit(s) to ensure timely submission to CBI
Created a Firearms Spreadsheet to track CCIC/NIBIN entries to ensure entry of all firearms into CCIC
Established a process to identify and submit firearms that qualify for NIBIN entry by CBI
Installed wireless gateway and sensors to monitor refrigerator/freezer temperatures with alarms to ensure evidence is not degraded
Created property release and third-party release forms
Developed training on how to utilize the evidence module in RMS and trained officers on its usage
Additionally, the Police Department will soon merge all of their evidence management systems into a new system, FileOnQ, later this year
In March of 2022, another on-site audit was completed of the Department's Property and Evidence Room, and no items of concern were found. The Firestone Police Department, in particular the Evidence & Property Technician, has worked diligently over the past year to address the concerns that last year's audit uncovered.
With these improvements, the hiring of Chief David Angelo, and the continued implementation of the Strategic Plan, the Firestone Police Department continues to show its commitment to providing the highest level of safety services to the Town of Firestone.