NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – A new report by the New Orleans Office of Inspector General (OIG) shows the NOPD made big improvements in its evidence room, but the department still needs to do much more to prevent theft and misplacement of evidence in its custody.
This report is one of many reports Inspector General Ed Quatrevaux released this year.
- Inspector General, Sheriff Gusman clash over ankle monitors
- More than 1,000 sex crime-related calls in New Orleans were not investigated, OIG report says
OIG auditors tested policies and procedures on property and evidence stored by New Orleans Police Department’s Central Evidence and Property Section between January and March of 2014. They found thousands of pieces of evidence that had exceeded all statutes of limitations but continued to be stored since Hurricane Katrina.
Auditors also found NOPD failed to complete annual inventories and audits, and that the actual location of evidence did not agree with the storage locations noted in the computer system.
OIG auditors did note several significant improvements:
- Currency exhibits submitted are deposited in an interest-bearing City account on a weekly basis.
- A climate-controlled DNA section was added and all DNA exhibits were barcoded and cataloged in this location.
- The CE&P Procedures Manual was revised to adopt professional standards recommended by the International Association for Property and Evidence, Inc.
“Evidence management has clearly improved but continued improvement is needed,” stated Inspector General Ed Quatrevaux.
In June 2014, NOPD Evidence Room leadership met with members of the District Attorney and City Attorney offices to set up a system to get court orders signed to dispose of evidence clogging the system. During that meeting, a court order was issued for the purging of 500 bicycles stored in evidence for which all statutes of limitations had expired.
The NOPD fully or partially agreed with all OIG recommendations to findings in the report.
Click HERE to see the full report.