The Evolution of Evidence
Evidence at the Cañon City Police Department began to evolve in 1987, and a uniform method for evidence was adopted. An officer was temporarily assigned to the investigations Division with the task of organizing and maintaining the evidence. A memo was distributed in September, 1987 addressed all personnel regarding evidence and found property. It stated all evidence and found property would be tagged, marked, placed in a secure locker and turned over to the Evidence Custodian. The memo directed officers to inventory all property in his/her possession. The property previously held by officers was transferred to the Evidence Custodian. An inventory of property was then taken. Marked and unmarked property was separated and the unmarked property was identified and traced to the original officer or report. Evidence no longer requiring retention was disposed of. A chain of custody form was created. Evidence was stored in a secured area and a tag numbering system uniquely identifying each item of evidence was adopted.
The first non-sworn Evidence Custodian was hired in August of 1991. With the implementation of CRIS (Crime Reporting Information System), computer technology became standard for the Cañon City Police Department. A computer was utilized for evidence management and a written log assigned sequential tag numbers to evidence. In August of 1996, the Evidence Division accepted the challenge of moving with the rest of the Police Department from 816 Royal Gorge Boulevard to its current location of 161 Justice Center Road.
The Cañon City Police Department currently employs one full-time civilian Evidence Technician, whose duties include checking in evidence and property, storing items, transporting evidence to the CBI Laboratory for testing, providing evidence to the District Attorney’s Office as needed, researching cases to determine if property/evidence is available for release or destruction, assisting officers with proper packaging, releasing property to the owners, and more. With the major cases that were handled by the department in 2014, the evidence vault was bursting at the seams. A research and purge project was started and with the assistance of a retired officer, over 4,000 items were researched (1981 through 2003) and it was determined that only 466 items were required to be retained. Case research and the purge project are continuing, along with a complete reorganization of the way the evidence is stored.
Property and Evidence is available for release Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm by APPOINTMENT ONLY. Please call the Evidence Division at 719-276-5623 or email EVIDENCE to see if we have property belonging to you and/or to arrange for an appointment. You will be REQUIRED to provide a photo ID in order to claim your property and in some cases, depending on the property, may be required to provide additional documentation. Any questions you may have should be directed to the phone number or email address above.