In this blog post, we discuss alcohol and food in the evidence room. Alcohol is probably one of the most common items that officers and deputies encounter every day during their shifts. It’s important to know how to handle these items to avoid problems in your evidence room. Different law enforcement agencies might have different rules and procedures to handle alcohol and food. That’s why it’s important to point out that the following are only recommendations.
- Photograph all alcohol items and upload photos to your digital evidence management system with a detailed description.
- Stolen alcohol may or may not be returned to owner immediately after photographs, depending on local policy.
- If the alcohol is still in it's original packaging, tag it and package it in paper or plastic bags.
- If the alcohol is open and defendant is available and cooperative, mark the level of fluid remaining and photograph the defendant pouring out the remaining alcohol. Video is even better. Inset a paper towel in each empty container before packaging to absorb the remaining liquids and fumes.
- If the alcohol is open and the defendant is not available or is not cooperative, mark the level of fluids remaining and photograph the alcohol and pour it out yourself. Again, insert a paper towel in each empty container before packaging to absorb the remaining liquids and fumes.
- While there may be times where it is necessary, try not to bring open alcohol bottles with liquids in them, it can and will cause problems.
Handling perishable foods
- Photograph all food items and upload photos to your digital evidence management system with detailed description.
- Stolen food items may, depending on local policy pans procedure, be returned to owner immediately after photographs.
- It is not advisable to bring perishable food back to the evidence room because it can spoil and attract mice and ants.
- If you absolutely must store perishable food items as evidence, try to vacuum pack and freeze it if possible.