Audit: Middletown Police Improperly Handle Evidence

NORTH COUNTRY GAZETTE, northcountrygazette.org
Link to Article

Middletown, NY

MIDDLETOWN—The police department’s property and evidence policy needs improvement because it did not require any written procedures for handling and storing property and evidence, according to a report released by New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.

In addition, the police department failed to deposit cash with the city finance department in a timely manner.

“It’s the police department’s responsibility to protect the community and ensure taxpayer dollars are being used properly,” said DiNapoli. “Unfortunately, the Middletown police department did not make timely cash deposits, and did not have proper procedures in place for handling and storing property and evidence. There is room for improvement in these areas.”

In the normal course of operations, the department receives or seizes cash, vehicles, firearms and controlled substances, referred to as property and evidence. The department’s 2008 Annual Report indicated that its narcotics unit seized cash in the amount of $81,940, narcotics with an estimated street value of $222,630, at least two firearms and four vehicles.

The department’s property and evidence policy needs improvement because it does not require any written procedures for handling and storing property and evidence. In addition, discrepancies existed in the manual and computerized cash records.

DiNapoli’s auditors also found that a physical inventory was not completed, cash items were not deposited timely, disposals were not removed from computerized tracking software and documentation to support expenditures of drug seizure funds was inadequate.

Click Here for a Copy of the Audit

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