The Property & Evidence Unit is responsbile for securing all properties that come into the control of the Wakefield Police Department. Once Police Officers turn in such property, Property Office personnel retrieve it from the lockers. Such property ranges from; evidence from a crime, prisoner's personal belongings and lost/found items. Property that comes into the Property Office is assigned a property number and secured in a locked environment.
This unit effectively and efficiently manages and controls all found, recovered, surrendered, and evidentiary property and any other property coming into the custody of this department.
- Properly and lawfully preserve, package, record, accounted for, handle and store all property and evidence recovered or turned in to the department.
- Take the initiative to return property to its rightful owner or owners in the most expedient manner.
- Dispose of property and evidence that are no longer useful or are potentially dangerous, as provided by law.
- Maintain strict accountability for all property and/or evidence.
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The Property Office is responsible for properly logging, storing and maintaining the chain of custody for all evidence. Drug evidence is placed and sealed in a plastic bag and transported to the State Police Drug Lab for detailed analysis. Firearm evidence is immediately inspected to insure the firearm is not loaded, then the firearms are appropriately secured. Prisoner Property is secured in the Property Office until the individual retrieves it.
If property goes unclaimed it is disposed of in accordance with MGL 135 s7.Ch.135s7 provides that the Police Department keeps prisoner property for a specified period of time. If the property remains unclaimed for a period of 30 days, the police must notify the individual by certified mail. If the property remains unclaimed for ten days after the receipt of the certified letter, it is disposed of appropriately as authorized in law.
Found Property: Consists of any item turned into the Property Office which was found without an owner. Proper identification of items or description of an item(s)is required to retrieve said property. Found property that goes unclaimed is disposed of in accordance with MGL Ch.134,s4. Ch.134s4 provides that if the person does not appear to claim his/her money or goods, the finder is entitled to keep said goods. Private holders of found property assume ownership of unclaimed property or money one year after finding the property if they make a timely report to the police.
The police department has in its possession numerous items of no commercial value (such as eyeglasses and keys) that it holds as a courtesy for return to their owners. If unclaimed, such property is disposed of without auction or further notice.