August 1 2017

Burlington Police Department Completes Outside Audit of Evidence Procedures

By: BNEWS

In order to ensure proper procedures are being followed and all evidence is correctly logged and stored the Burlington Police Department recently underwent a third-party audit of its evidence collection and retention procedures.

According to police, the audit was a proactive initiative meant to assess the department’s compliance with current policies and procedures and to help ensure best management practices.

The department hired Marcum LLP to review and evaluate the Burlington Police’s handling of evidence collected since 2009 and found that the department properly cataloged, stored and maintained seized property in 98 percent of cases, a release states.

The final report concluded that 503 out of 515 sampled cases were logged and handled entirely correctly. Two percent of cases, or 12 total, were missing some items and/or paperwork that could be a result of items being returned to owners, released to the court or disposed of following the resolution of a case.

However, in each of the 12 cases where the procedures were not completely followed, police say Marcum’s report concluded that there was no intentional wrongdoing or malicious intent.

Marcum’s Advisory Services division provides companies, regulatory and public safety agencies a wide range of services to meet the challenges of today’s business environment. Marcum Principal Frank E. Rudewicz, who has audited and performed consulting work for dozens of police departments, led the review of Burlington’s policies and procedures. The department has not had any issues in the past with property and evidence procedures or storage.

Marcum conducted a random sample audit of 20 percent of the department’s physical evidence and property and a full 100 percent audit of cash it seized. Had any concerns arisen during the sample audit, a deeper review would have been initiated.

“Our job does not end with an arrest. Handling seized evidence and property correctly is an equally crucial component of serving our community,” Chief Michael Kent said. “The department’s officers hold themselves to the highest standards in every aspect of their work, including how we collect and handle evidence, and I am proud of our performance under such tight scrutiny.”

“We’re thankful for the opportunity to build a working relationship with the Burlington Police Department,” Rudewicz said. “Chief Kent and his officers were tremendously cooperative and highly professional. They should be proud of their procedural standards and the results of our review.”

In addition to its strong performance during the Marcum audit, the Burlington Police Department is a Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission accredited agency, the release states. It has held that distinction since 2008 and has consistently adhered to over 300 professional standards related to all of its policies, including evidence collection and storage.


 

 
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