Property and Evidence Unit
Lieutenant John McGuinness
Police Property & Evidence Unit
160 Saw Mill River Road
Phone: 377-7941 Fax: 377-7944
The Property and Evidence Unit has the responsibility for maintaining, storing, and disposing of all property that is taken into police custody. Property taken as evidence must be carefully safeguarded to prevent contamination and insure its value at court. Found property is held in trust for its rightful owner, and property held for safekeeping has been entrusted to the Police Department, where its integrity cannot be compromised. An equally important function of the nit is the proper and timely disposal of property. This includes the return of property to its rightful owner or the destruction of items as prescribed by law.
DISPOSITION OF UNCLAIMED PROPERTY & EVIDENCE
Throughout the year, many items that went unclaimed were set aside for auction. Included were portable radios, beepers, cellular phones, tools, gun cases, car seats, jewelry, clothes, shoes, sneakers, and various other items.
Throughout the year, the Unit collected and separated new clothing that was taken as evidence and remained unclaimed. In December, the Unit notified the YWCA to arrange for pickup of the clothing for distribution to the community. The clothing consisted of items for women, men, children, and infants including coats, pants, shirts, dresses, sweaters, and linens.
This year, as in years past, a number of bicycles were turned over to the Community Affairs Unit & the Youth Division where they were refurbished and distributed to youths in the city. Many of the bicycles were found property and their owners could not be identified.
Biohazard evidence must be identified, separated and red-bagged.
Throughout the year we travel to the County Lab to pick up evidence which was separated for analysis. When evidence must be presented to the County Lab, the officer first brings the evidence to the Property Clerk Unit, where a property clerk number is assigned to the item. After analysis, members of the Unit retrieve the evidence and return it to the Property Clerk Unit for storage. This insures that the evidence is properly identified and stored. It also removes the burden of retrieval from individual officers. The county receives 4 to 8 cases per week which amounts to 25 to 35 pieces of evidence that has to be processed. The Property Unit must pick up, verify, enter all evidence in the computer, tag, and store forthwith to ensure proper documentation for court purposes.
YONKERS POLICE LAB
The Property CLerk Unit must also retrieve evidence from the Yonkers PD lab. The YPD Lab receives 80 to 110 pieces of evidence every week, and is presently on an upward trend. The Property Unit must pick up this evidence which ranges from narcotics to latent prints, and verify contents, enter information into our computer, catalogue, label, and store securely. This procedure is time consuming, and had to be done in a timely manner for the proper documentation, and integrity of the evidence handling for court purposes. This is paramount to a successful conclusion in the prosecution phase in court.