November 5, 2017
The Casper Police Department is accumulating evidence far more quickly than it is disposed of, which means a department that already has six evidence storage facilities will need to add storage space if things don't change.
An external review of the police department conducted by the Center for Public Safety Management indicates that the department is still holding onto evidence that's more than 20 years old and the department does not have an accurate count of evidence in custody.
The department switched to a computerized evidence tracking system in the early 1990s. Older evidence did not make it into the computer system at the time of the changeover, and the index cards used to catalog evidence were thrown out. The department did not begin accurately tracking evidence disposal until 2014, according to the review.
Between 2015 and 2016, the department cataloged more than 18,000 new pieces of evidence and disposed of about 9,000. At this rate, the department will have to expand its evidence storage facilities, the report states. Instead, the report recommends that the police department purge old, unnecessary evidence.
Evidence cataloging in 2015 and 2016 was comprehensive, according to the report.