How to handle currency, jewelry, and forgeries in the evidence room
Like drugs and firearms, evidence rooms receive various types of currencies, jewelry, counterfeits, and forgeries every day. Here we discuss a list of steps and recommendations on how to handle currency and other valuable items. Different law enforcement agencies might have different rules and procedures to handle these items, so these are only suggestions.
- Sort US currency by denomination and arrange each stack face up in the same direction for all bills.
- Enter each denomination count in the evidence management system. Any decent evidence management system should allow for that type of information to be stored.
- Count the bills and coins and verify that the total matches the calculations totals of the evidence management system.
- Have another officer recount the currency and enter his/her name and signature into the evidence management system.
- Place the currency into an evidence heat sealed bag then initial and date the seal. The verifying officer should initial and date the seal as well.
- Photograph all jewelry items before packaging.
- Count all jewelry pieces and enter each count and detail in the evidence management system.
- Color, size, and shape are important details when entering jewelry items into the evidence management system.
- Heat-sealed bags should be used for packaging jewelry. Initial and date the seal after packaging.
Handling counterfeits and forgeries
- Make copies of all counterfeit money bills and forged checks (face and back) and enter it into the digital evidence management system.
- Do not list counterfeit money as a currency in your evidence management system. Use a special category like “Counterfeit currency”. Counterfeits are not actual money.
- Package counterfeits and forged checks into clear plastic bags.