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Detroit Police procedures slammed in report

The Detroit News (Michigan)
BYLINE: David Josar,

Detroit, MI

The Paper

A 16-page Detroit auditor general report lambasting the Police Department for the way it handles cash and vehicles seized during drug forfeitures. The most scathing revelation in the Sept. 8 report: The force spent just $46,022 of $5.2
million of federal forfeiture funds from 2004 through 2008.

The chase

The U.S. Justice Department since 1994 has required state and local agencies that receive more than $100,000 in forfeiture funds to file reports detailing the use of the money. The federal agency recommends forces spend the money within two years.

The audit also found monitoring of the property room was inadequate. No one watched old footage of tapes, two cameras didn't work and only one of eight officers reviewed footage to see if anything was amiss, according to the report.

The audit, which covered July 2006 to September 2008, preceded the tenure of Police Chief Warren Evans.

In a written response, Evans acknowledged the force has "been very cautious" with its money but is implementing changes.

Evans wrote that the department plans to fix non-functioning cameras and beef up oversight of the property room.

Got docs?

Thursdays, the Paper Chase takes a close look at documents - from government reports and budgets to police reports and corporate e-mails - that offer an intriguing, revealing or offbeat look at the news. They're independently verified. Got one? E-mail or call (313) 222-2513.

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