Standing Guard Over Criminal Evidence
To ensure the high quality of evidence from crime scenes, the city of Citrus Heights, CA, has spent $1 million to construct a 5,800-sq.-ft. storage structure.
Only two police officers have access to the entire evidence storage facility, which has been incorporated into the existing police station. One of the two officers is Michelle Combs, a crime scene investigator/property-evidence specialist with 21 years experience in law enforcement. Both officers are essentially on-call 24/7 and are dispatched to all major crime scenes.
Combs helped design and equip the van they travel in as well as the crime lab and storage facility. She says day-to-day access to the facility needs to be extremely restricted because “almost always a theft is accomplished internally.”
Some of the features of the facility include lockers that lock automatically after evidence is handed in, an area for drying wet items prior to processing, and a secure, temperature-controlled room to hold perishable items. Vehicles can be towed to a secure area at the back of the site.
The majority of operations are conducted internally, with the exception of certain blood and drug assessments that are performed by the Sacramento County district attorney’s crime lab.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center (NLECTC) from the Sacramento Bee (CA); 04/12/07; P. G1; Richie, David.