The Livingston Police Department has new directives for property procedures related to seized cash and evidence.
The directive came down from Police Chief Greg Etheredge who worked on the changes over the last two months with MTAS Police Management Consultant Rex Barton. Barton presented the procedure changes to the Livingston Board of Mayor and Aldermen on Monday night.
Etheredge said updating these policies has been long needed and the recent missing money investigation into the department expedited the process.
Barton said a $500 minimum for cash seizure has been set and Etheredge is the first point of contact.
“If you seize money you will contact me then, not the next morning,” Barton said. “He will come in, in his absence the Captain will come in. They’ll do a countdown of the money with the officer, receipt the money, give the officer the receipt for the money, take possession of it. So you have documentation then of the change of hands of money.”
Barton said cash below $500 would stay with the arrested party until they are booked into jail, making it the jail’s responsibility and not the police department. Barton said he did a walk through of the police department building after making recommendations to Chief Etheredge. He said he approved of the changes he saw.
“Looked at the changes that have been made to the property room and walked through the process for introducing non-cash evidence and property,” Barton said. “I like it, didn’t make a recommendation. That in addition to the temporary storage which is fairly small, which works really well for handguns and drugs. To add a couple of secure places for long guns, and I think they’re in the process of doing those.”
Barton said subsequent to his walk through there would be a second set of procedures for non-cash items.
“Directing the officers where they will put the items, the paper work they have to fill out, both within the computerized system as well as the paperwork that stays with an item all the way through,” Barton said. “Whether it is going to the crime lab or going into the property room.”
Barton recommended to the city that they start looking toward getting state accreditation for the police department. He said one of the standards for that is auditing on a periodic basis.
Etheredge said this is currently a directive within the department and it will be voted on at the next board of mayor and aldermen meeting in order to be codified.