Securely Storing Evidence: FBI and DEA Material Handling

As a member of the FBI, DEA or another law enforcement agency, your office and staff have specific protocol to follow in regards to the way you store and handle evidence and miscellaneous case items and documentation. The maintenance and protection of these items is critical to its security, especially within a large operation.

 

Law Enforcement Storage Needs

Evidence at crime scenes in the process of documentation, collection, preservation and packaging is handled with attention to scene integrity and protection from contamination. During the processing of the scene, and following documentation, evidence needs to be appropriately packaged, labeled and maintained in a secure, temporary manner until final packaging and submission to a secured evidence storage facility or the crime laboratory.

evidence storage boxes

Materials in need of storage when documenting a crime scene include, but are not limited to:

  • Responding officers’ documentation
  • Emergency medical personnel documents
  • Entry/exit documentation
  • Photographs and videos
  • Crime scene sketches and diagrams
  • Evidence documentation
  • Other responders’ documentation
  • Record of consent form or search warrant
  • Forensic and technical reports

 

Minimum Standards for Practitioners’ Handling of Controlled Substances

As outlined by the U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration

“Controlled substances must be stored in a securely locked cabinet of substantial construction. Pharmacies have the option of storing controlled substances as set forth above, or concealing them by dispersal throughout their stock of non-controlled substances.

Even though the Federal regulations do not specifically define locked cabinet construction, the intent of the law is that controlled substances must be adequately safeguarded. Therefore, depending on other security measures, a wooden cabinet may or may not be considered adequate. In an area with a high crime rate, a strong metal cabinet or safe may be required.”

 

Shipping Container Storage

In order to minimize the opportunities for theft or diversion of case files, controlled substances or other evidence, agents have an obligation to provide effective physical security.

evidence police file

Shipping containers deliver storage solutions that fit a variety of law enforcement agency’s needs, including:

  • Rigid and secure storage systems – fireproof, steel frame
  • Reusable, bulk storage
  • Easily expanded / stacked
  • Can hold 2,376 cubic feet of materials
  • One way entrance
  • Climate controlled / refrigerated option (reefers)
  • Modification options
  • Easily transported to the location of the registrant

 

Ensure that case files, reports and other documentation pertaining to a crime scene investigation are compiled, controlled and stored safely. With a completely secure steel structure that is wind and watertight, cargo containers offer the ideal option for DEA, FBI and law enforcement agency storage. Originally built to withstand the corrosive elements of the seas, you can trust these shipping containers to keep evidence secure.

 

Sources

https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/lab/forensic-science-communications/fsc/april2000/twgcsi.pdf

https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/lab/handbook-of-forensic-services-pdf

http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/pubs/manuals/sec/sec_req.htm

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