Grand Jury wants fix of sheriff’s evidence lockers

April 11, 2009

By DANIEL BLACKBURN

Property room policies and procedures followed by sheriff’s deputies are “lax” in some instances, and the 2008-09 San Luis Obispo County Grand Jury has recommended updates and monitoring of those facilities.

CalCoastNews reported in December 2008 that problems existed with least one evidence room, and that authorities were concerned that evidence chains of custody might be compromised. The Grand Jury’s current report “found no indication” of compromise.

After the Grand Jury examined the facilities a second time, “lapses” had been corrected, the report noted, adding, “Property room procedures at the North County Patrol Station in Templeton and the Coast Patrol Station in Los Osos were lax in regard to the use of their security lockers.”

Also, the report stressed that “in all cases” procedures used by deputies to handle evidence “appeared secure.”

The Grand Jury also examined evidence locker procedures of city police departments in the county and found all to maintain “particularly secure” facilities. The panel cited better training by municipal departments as the reason for this.

(See the whole report)

Property Room Report  From the 2008-2009 Grand Jury Reports.

 


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3 Comments

  1. ccn_debate says:

    Member Opinions:
    By: soca on 4/16/09
    So today's news in the NYPost:
    http://www.nypost.com/seven/04162009/gossip/pages

    Corporate master GE The Evil, called the heads of CNBC to pressure the channel to go softer on the Obama administration. Sure, it's Page 6 stuff. But you have to admit George and HD, it is timely!

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  2. ccn_debate says:

    By: George on 4/15/09
    Individual journalists are all over the "allowed" political spectrum but all work for a few organizations that have a slant toward the right,ie corporatist/fascist model.the serious left wing hardly has any voice whatsoever outside academia, when is the last time you saw Noam Chomsky on NBC or an article by him in a major newspaper? Truth to power.
    By: Newsome on 4/15/09
    Just sent my $40.

    You can regift it to one of the worthies that SOCA knows of, if you want. However, I'd prefer if you used it for pencils and notebooks and whatever other journalism tools you need to keep this site going.

    Thanks for the good work and interesting site.
    By: soca on 4/15/09
    You're absolutely right Hotdog. CBS, NBC, ABC and CNN are absolute shills for the right wing. NYT, Dallas Morning News, LA Times etc. just cowtow to the far right corporate masters. Please notice the sarcasm.

    As to donating to a website, I recommend several that put food in and clothing on orphans, build water wells for refugees and feed the hungry in our local towns. If Dan and Karen planned on a reader based subscription, then they should have designed it that way. Maybe they will. But the business model I see here is one that is tried and true. Write good stuff and people will come. When people come, advertisers will too.
    By: hotdog on 4/15/09
    oca,
    even though both sides of the aisle throw rocks at the media much if not most of it is controlled by right wing elements (Hearst, Murdoch, Fox (fair and balanced?) etc. Most money is in the hands of the right wing, and so most of the corporate structure is owned by them-including the media. And since the media can sway public opinion it can sway politics to its favor, which is just what it has done over the last forever-but especially under the recently departed gang of crooks.

    And WE are the market. I submit many issues (good and bad) are largely supported by donations (Ollie North solicited millions from foolish old ladies to support the drug dealing contras, and on the other side most charities who actually do good work depend on our support by way of donation). I give oodles to groups that do good (in my opinion), they would cease to exist without that sort of support from the masses.
    This website is designed to step on toes for the public good. That is why we love it. There are many toes that need to be stepped on. Without a watchdog criminals and bad government will take over. Most of us benefit from the efforts of Dan and Karen and don't give, in essence we are getting something for free-that cannot last. The writers and others that bring us this info deserve more than a pat on the back, they have to eat and pay their bills in order to do this service for the community.
    My two cents.
    By: calvertworthington on 4/15/09
    While your at it, google "Associated Press" and research how many 'newspapers' are owned by the same folks, and that they run the AP.
    By: George on 4/15/09
    NBC,number one news, is a major tentacle of General Electric, number two defense contractor.One of six corporations that dominate/control global news. That's the rock we all live under. Vertical integration
    By: soca on 4/15/09
    To Thomaspaine – Right wing controlled corporate media?? What rock have you been living under?

    To Hotdog – Karen and Dan are doing a good job. Let the market decide how good. If you want to support them, buy from their advertisers and tell them why you are doing so. Donations are for people with cardboard and a felt tip marker.
    By: hotdog on 4/13/09
    To all who find this site a godsend to improving our county: donate. Democracy is never free, and without a free (unchained) and inquisitive press we are lost. It is up to us, as stewards of our democracy, to support a free press. Donate. Support this site, and tell the advertisers you appreciate their support too.

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  3. ccn_debate says:

    By: ThomasPaine on 4/12/09
    Way to keep investigating. In the era of right wing corporate controlled media, it is good to have you two do real investigative journalism. Keep up the good work.
    By: Saveslocounty on 4/12/09
    Too bad the grand jury was mislead and totally missed the real story. I guess the Sheriff forgot to tell them about the employee stealing and using the drugs from evidence. He was supposedly allowed to retire rather than be prosecuted. Now that sounds more like a story to me.
    By: shingh on 4/12/09
    Well as was reported some where, long ago that evidence, still on pending cases which included Guns, Money, gun parts, narcotics etc was discovered at the local landfill and they called the So who came and picked it up lots of it, it was all still evidence that was mistakenly disregarded so Sheriff Pat immediately ordered his staff to go buy Safe at a local store called range master, in SLO later at church this was confirmed by Rob Bryn his spokes person. The deft's never knew all that evidence was ALL compromised.
    By: MyThoughts on 4/12/09
    Gosh TruthbeKnown you are in desperate need of a reading and comprehension lesson.

    CalCoastNews wrote "Authorities were concerned the evidence chains of custody might be compromised"

    You see here TBK, the key word here is "might"

    Here is the language from the Grand Jury report:

    "At the Sheriff’s Coast and North County patrol stations we did observe problems with
    the storage of evidence after the property had been logged in, bar coded and sealed
    into tamper-evident packaging. The Grand Jury found that, behind locked gates,
    some of the evidence lockers were left open with evidence inside. We did not find
    this problem at the South County Patrol Station. A Sheriff’s spokesman indicated
    that this situation was against policy and has been corrected. The Grand Jury
    conducted surprise re-inspections of these stations and found the problems corrected"

    So now TBK, can't you reasonable conclude that there was some cause for concern?

    I am glad that the Sheriff's Office has addressed this issue or clearly there could have been potential legal problems had they not taken corrective measures.

    Next time TBK, read a bit more slowly.
    By: Truthbeknown on 4/11/09
    "CalCoastNews reported in December 2008 that problems existed with [at] least one evidence room, and that authorities were concerned that evidence chains of custody might be compromised. The Grand Jury’s current report “found no indication” of compromise."

    So what you are saying is your report was found to be untrue?

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