Collection and Preservation of Evidence
The following guidelines are designed to provide for the efficient and proper collection, preservation, and identification of evidence at the scene of a known or suspected crime.
Evidence – Anything, physical or biological, which may reconstruct the crime, identify the elements, obtain the facts, establish motive, develop suspects, apprehend offenders, or provide something that is legal to submit to a competent tribunal as a means of ascertaining the truth of any alleged matter or act under investigation before it.
Seizure of electronic data storage devices – In the event that an electronic data storage device needs to be seized for evidence processing, the department will notify UPD. Under the direction of a police officer, a trained information technology employee from the university or other trained individual available for this purpose will assist in preserving the evidence. The officer in charge of the scene will fill out a property sheet, seize and secure the property within UPD room evidence.
In the event a trained individual is unavailable, the equipment will be seized following the guidelines specified in the US Secret Service’s “Best Practices for Seizing Electronic Evidence v.3 A Pocket Guide for First Responders.”
Chain of Custody – A written record indicating each change in the custodial responsibility of an article of evidence. This will be documented on the property tag. The chain of custody will include all of the following information that is applicable to the custody transfer:
a) Name of the person last having custody of the item;
b) Reason for transfer of item in custody;
c) Date and time of submission or mailing and method used for transmission, if applicable;
d) Name and location of laboratory, if applicable;
e) Date and time of receipt in the laboratory, if applicable;
f) Synopsis of event and explanation of examinations requested, if applicable; and
g) Name and signature of the person receiving the evidence and the person’s functional responsibility.