Hollywood Police Department: Improvements continue in the Property and Evidence Unit

The Hollywood Police Department says they have updated protocol and are continuing to make improvements to its Property and Evidence Unit after an investigation by the Broward Office of the Inspector General uncovered mismanagement in the operation of the unit. WSVN 7 News
dtvolz Hollywood Police Department: Improvements continue in the Property and Evidence Unit

David Volz

Reporter at Hollywood Gazette
David Volz has been a freelance writer and reporter for Hollywood Gazette since 2010.
dtvolz Hollywood Police Department: Improvements continue in the Property and Evidence Unit

The Hollywood Police Department has released information about its efforts to improve its Property and Evidence Unit and its response to an investigation recently conducted by the Broward Office of the Inspector General.

The Property and Evidence Unit continues to destroy and dispose of all property entered into the Property-Evidence Unit, as allowed by Florida State Statutes and Department Policy.  A total of 1,224 items were purged from the PEU.  An additional 3,440 items have been researched, approved, and are pending destruction.

hollywood-police-evidence-room Hollywood Police Department: Improvements continue in the Property and Evidence Unit
The Broward OIG reported the Police Department now requires two people to participate in the opening of cash and narcotic safes and has purchased a drug terminator device, which so far has helped destroy more than 140 pounds of drugs. (Local 10/ABC News)                      

Some of the improvements that have been made include: The Department’s Drug Terminator device was utilized to conduct two drug burns, with an additional burn being scheduled within the next few weeks pending judicial approval. The Department transported an additional 100 firearms to the Broward Sheriff’s Office (BSO) for destruction, bringing the total number of firearms destroyed since the start of the OIG investigation to 502 firearms. The Department has an additional 100 firearms pending destruction, but is constrained by BSO’s current limit of 50 firearms per month.

The Department has requested two additional part-time property clerk positions be added to the Fiscal Year 2018 budget to enhance the PEU’s efficiency. The part-time property clerk positions are in addition to the four full-time positions already added to the PEU, meaning the Department will have invested approximately $272,242.00 in additional recurring anual base salary personnel costs, not including benefits, since the beginning of the OIG investigation.

The Department is finalizing the Property Clerk Work Manual, establishing clearly delineated employee guidelines in addition to existing policies and procedures. The Department has obtained a quote for approximately $7,700.00 to purchase a climate controlled storage container to relieve overcrowding in Vault 2.  The Department is purchasing a currency counter with serial number scanning and counterfeit detection technology to accurately record and document currency at a cost of $9, 100.00.

The Department has obtained quotes, identified funding and is awaiting approval for upgrades of approximately $50,000 to the Department’s video surveillance capabilities, which include: Improved HD cameras providing higher quality video, new web-based remote access and viewing capabilities, increased storage and retention of archival data.

The Department is meeting with vendors to research new Property Management Systems, which has  RFID technology that allows for scanning to accurately track, inventory and audit property and evidence. The Department is identifying law enforcement agencies utilizing similar technology to arrange site visits to learn this technology. In a continued effort to provide training and certification opportunities, the Department approved advanced training requests for the PEU supervisor and a property clerk to attend the Property and Evidence Association of Florida State Conference.

 

About David Volz

David Volz has been a freelance writer and reporter for Hollywood Gazette since 2010.