Chicago Police DepartmentSpecial Order S04-18-01
Inventorying Narcotics Evidence
Issue Date:15 October 2015Effective Date:15 October 2015
Rescinds:06 July 2015 version
Index Category:Preliminary Investigations
I.Purpose
This directive outlines procedures for the:
  • A.inventory of narcotics evidence.
  • B.disposition of narcotics evidence.
II.General Information
  • A.Narcotics evidence seized by members of the Chicago Police Department is processed at the  Illinois State Police Forensic Science Center at Chicago (ISP-FSC-C), except when the Department directive entitled "Alternative Cannabis Enforcement Program" applies. Narcotics evidence to be analyzed is submitted to ISP-FSC-C via the Chicago Police Department Forensic Services Division
  • B.Field tests are not to be submitted with narcotics evidence to the ISP-FSC-C Lab.
  • C.The Forensics Services Division will automatically submit all narcotics evidence to the ISP-FSC-C Lab for analysis when there is an associated arrest. In cases where no arrestee is listed on the inventory, but analysis of the substance is desired, the inventorying officer must submit a To-From-Subject report, approved by the officer's commanding officer, to the Forensic Services Division in order to have the evidence sent for testing.
  • D.Members of the Bureau of Organized Crime will follow internal protocols when submitting narcotics evidence to the ISP-FSC-C Lab for analysis in cases where no arrestee is listed on the inventory but analysis of the substance is desired.
  • E.All narcotics and narcotics-related evidence will be inventoried in the eTrack system. ISP lab reports are available for viewing in the eTrack system.
  • F.Only Chicago Police Department personnel are authorized to inventory property in the eTrack system. Members of other agencies must use their own inventory processes. In addition, only Chicago Police Department personnel can submit evidence to the Forensic Services Division to be analyzed by ISP-FSC-C.
  • G.Narcotics evidence will be separated according to the following attributes:
    • 1.time of recovery;
    • 2.place of recovery;
    • 3.classification as evidence and non-evidence;
    • 4.destination, such as ERPS, Forensic Services Division, and the like;
    • 5.manner obtained, such as by search warrant, seizure, or recovery;
    • 6.owners or possessors;
    • 7.type of narcotic substance (e.g., cannabis), and;
    • 8.form of narcotic (e.g., powder cocaine verses crack cocaine)
  • H.Officers who receive a Discrepancy Laboratory Report from ISP-FSC-C will complete a Supplementary Report (CPD-11.411-A or B) to explain the discrepancy and attach a copy of the ISP-FSC-C Discrepancy Laboratory Report to the Supplementary Report . These reports will be submitted by the end of the tour of duty in which he or she received the discrepancy report.
  • I.Narcotics Safes and Scales
    • 1.Narcotics safes and scales are located at the Forensic Services Division, the Narcotics Division, the Airport Law Enforcement Unit-North, and in district and unit facilities. Narcotics personnel will utilize the safes and scales in their unit or the Forensic Services Division; all other units will utilize the safes and scales at the district of arrest or seizure. Only inventoried narcotics will be placed in a narcotics safe.
    • 2.The scales maintained in Department units are intended to provide a reasonable weight estimation of suspect narcotics or cannabis.
      NOTE:
      The suspect narcotics or cannabis will be weighed in the original packaging in which it was seized. The actual weight of the substance (without packaging) will be determined by appropriate laboratory personnel at the ISP-FSC-C.
III.Inventory of Narcotics Paraphernalia
  • A.Any instrument, product, or equipment used in conjunction with a narcotic drug is considered narcotics paraphernalia. These include, but are not limited to, hypodermic needle or syringe, bottle cap, foil wrapper, spoon, scale, pipe, pusher, clip, and cigarette paper.
  • B.When paraphernalia are suspected of containing narcotic residue and the officer is seeking charges for violations of the Illinois Controlled Substances Act, the Cannabis Control Act, or the Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act, the officer will obtain an Evidence Bag (CPD-11.511) and inventory the paraphernalia, request an analysis, and forward the inventory to the Forensic Services Division.
  • C.When such paraphernalia do not contain a sufficient amount of narcotics residue suitable for analysis and the officer is NOT seeking charges for violations of the Illinois Controlled Substances Act, the Cannabis Control Act, or the Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act, the officer will obtain an Evidence - Property Envelope (CPD-34.559) and the paraphernalia will be inventoried and sent to the Evidence and Recovered Property Section (ERPS) to be held as evidence.
  • D.As a safety measure, whenever forwarding any pin, needle, or other article having a sharp point, the recovering officer will:
    • 1.print in the Remarks section of the Evidence Bag (CPD-11.511) or in the Contents-Describe section of the Evidence - Property Envelope (CPD-34.559) the warning "CAUTION SHARP INSTRUMENT" in bold letters.
    • 2.ensure that the evidence is properly secured before placing it in an Evidence Bag or an Evidence - Property Envelope by first placing it in a 1" x 6" clear tube container (Commodity Code No. 19-1717-0001) obtained from the Equipment and Supply Section.
    • 3.if contaminated with biological elements (e.g., blood), affix a biohazard label to the container, as outlined in the Department directive entitled "Exposure Determination/Universal Precautions."
  • E.To avoid breakage, whenever forwarding any glass or breakable paraphernalia containing residue to be tested, the recovering officer will:
    • 1.print in the Remarks section of the Evidence Bag or the Evidence - Property Envelope the warning "CAUTION GLASS INSTRUMENT" in bold letters.
    • 2.place the evidence in a clear tube container or secure it properly by wrapping the evidence with sufficient packing material to reasonably ensure that the evidence does not break.
    • 3.contact the Forensic Services Division when necessary for additional direction regarding the proper packaging of evidence.
IV.General Inventory Procedures for Narcotics Evidence
  • A.Inventorying Member Responsibilities
    • 1.When a member seizes suspect narcotics or narcotics paraphernalia containing residue to be analyzed, the member will:
      • a.secure the evidence without delay by placing the narcotics in an Evidence Bag (CPD-11.511) or placing any loose or damaged packaging containing narcotics in an Inner Evidence Bag (CPD-11.525) and ensure its safekeeping.
      • b.record the information in the eTrack system in accordance with the Department directive entitled "Processing Property Under Department Control."
        • (1)The evidence will be described in specific terms including the packaging, physical description, and suspect narcotic (e.g., one brown plastic bottle containing 20 pink pills, suspect ecstacy/MDMA; two brown paper bags of crushed green plant, suspect cannabis). For large seizures of pills, tablets, or capsules, a description of the container and its contents is acceptable (e.g., one gallon clear glass bottle containing a large quantity of white pills, suspect oxycodone).
        • (2)Select the proper "Suspect Drug Type" from the drop-down menu.
        • (3)The weight or the estimated street value of the narcotics will not be entered into the eTrack system.
        • (4)Non-narcotic physical evidence will be inventoried separately from suspected narcotics evidence.
        • (5)Narcotics evidence which is reported on a case report with a secondary offense/incident classification of Found Suspect Narcotics (offense code 2093) or which is found under circumstances where no person can be charged with the possession of the narcotics will be inventoried with the classification action of "To be disposed of by custodian."
      • c.complete all of the requested information on the face of the Evidence Bag. Any incomplete information on the Evidence Bag will render the inventory unacceptable.
      • d.place the evidence in the Evidence Bag in the presence of the District Station Supervisor.
      • e.after obtaining supervisory approval of the inventory:
        • (1)seal the bag with the evidence enclosed by centering the top of the polyethylene Evidence Bag in the electric heat sealer and then fully sealing the Evidence Bag once horizontally across the top of the bag;
        • (2)staple above the heat seal the printout of Copy 1 - Inventory Copy and a copy of the case report to the outside of the Evidence Bag;
        • (3)enter the Property Inventory number, Records Division (RD) number, date and time, sign on the Narcotic Evidence Log & Transmittal (CPD-33.335), and place the sealed Evidence Bag in the narcotics safe in the district of inventory.
    • 2.If any loose narcotics or damaged packaging containing narcotics are recovered, the member will:
      • a.place the narcotics evidence into a self-sealing Inner Evidence Bag (CPD 11.525) and immediately seal the bag.
      • b.complete all of the requested information on the face of the self-sealing Inner Evidence Bag. Any incomplete information on the Inner Evidence Bag will render the inventory unacceptable.
        NOTE:
        The sealed Inner Evidence Bag will be placed in the Evidence Bag (CPD-11.511) with the clear side of the self-sealing Inner Evidence Bag lined up with the clear side of the Evidence Bag, ensuring that the entire contents can be clearly seen.
      • c.The loose narcotics or damaged packaging containing narcotics will be described in specific terms including the packaging, physical description, and suspect narcotic (e.g., Inner Evidence Bag containing 20 pink pills, suspect ecstacy/MDMA; Inner Evidence Bag containing crushed green plant, suspect cannabis).
      • d.complete the inventory following procedures outlined in IV-A-1-c and e of this directive.
      NOTE:
      Do no staple or heat seal the Inner Evidence Bag (CPD-11.525). Members will ensure the Inner Evidence Bag (CPD-11.525) is placed in the Evidence Bag (CPD-11.511) BELOW the section "submitting officers to place his signature in the area and then seal over the signature" to avoid stapling or heat sealing the Inner Evidence Bag (CPD-11.525).
    • 3.Additional procedures may be required for the inventory of designated narcotics evidence, such as bulk or contaminated narcotics, as indicated in this directive.
    • 4.When a member is notified to report to either the Forensic Services Division or ERPS to correct an issue with an eTrack property inventory, the member will report during his or her next tour of duty. Changes or corrections made to an eTrack inventory require the completion of a Supplementary Report noting the changes.
  • B.District Station Supervisor Responsibilities
    The District Station Supervisor will:
    • 1.in the review and approval process, verify that the contents in the Evidence Bag correspond to the description of the contents indicated on the face of the Evidence Bag, the evidence is properly packaged and sealed, and the information provided in the eTrack system is accurate and complete. To indicate approval, the District Station Supervisor will:
      • a.place his or her signature in the box provided on the Evidence Bag, and
      • b.indicate approval of the inventory in the eTrack system.
    • 2.ensure that the inventory is deposited in the narcotics safe and sign his or her name on the Narcotic Evidence Log & Transmittal (CPD-33.335).
    • 3.be responsible for the security of the inventory deposited in the narcotics safe until removed by the Police Documents Section officer.
    • 4.accept incorrect or incomplete Evidence Bags from the Police Documents Section officer and ensure that the inventorying officer is contacted to correct or re-inventory the evidence. The district station supervisor is responsible for providing security for that inventory until such time as it is properly inventoried.
    • 5.accept the receipt copy of the Narcotic Evidence Log & Transmittal from the Police Documents Section officer. The receipted copy will be filed and retained at the district desk in accordance with existing records-retention requirements.
    • 6.ensure that the narcotics safe and scale are not misused.
V.Inventory of Bulk Narcotics
  • A.A bulk narcotics seizure is defined as any seizure which fills more than three inventory boxes (an inventory box consists of a box with the dimensions of 24" X 18" X 12" with a weight limit of 25 lbs. per box).
  • B.The inventory of any bulk seizure of narcotics will require two inventories to be created once the seizure has been reviewed by ISP and Forensic Services Division at Homan Square:
    • 1.The first inventory will contain the required percentage of narcotics for prosecution not to exceed three inventory boxes (an inventory box consists of a box with the dimensions of 24" X 18" X 12" with a weight limit of 25 lbs. per box).
      NOTE:
      Each of the separate inventory boxes will be listed as separate line items in eTrack under the first inventory.
    • 2.The second inventory will contain the remainder of the seized narcotics.
  • C.When a member seizes a bulk quantity of evidence which is suspect narcotics or cannabis, the member will:
    • 1.request the assistance of an evidence technician. The evidence technician will ensure that a reference-scale photograph is taken of the bulk seizure and perform any other evidentiary requests as needed.
    • 3.arrange to have the entire seizure transported to the Bureau of Organized Crime garage at Homan Square, prior to entering inventory information into eTrack. A supervisor from the unit of recovery will report to the Homan Square facility to assist in the inventory process and review and approve the inventories.
    • 4.contact the Forensic Services Division to arrange for the ISP-FSC-C Lab to assign personnel to report to Homan Square to identify samples to be tested.
      • a.If there is a related arrest or a named offender, the ISP has agreed to have an ISP analyst respond to to Homan Square during their normal hours of operation (Monday through Friday 0800-1600 hours). The analyst will choose a sampling of the recovered narcotics equal to the required percentage for prosecution. Those packages will be inventoried on one inventory. The packaging of the inventory will be done in a manner that preserves any forensic evidence, if believed present. The remainder of the seizure will be inventoried on a second inventory. These inventories will be completed by recovering unit personnel at Homan Square, using computers at ERPS or the Forensic Services Division. All packages must be sealed with seals from the Forensic Services Division.
      • b.If an ISP analyst is unable to respond to Homan Square, the inventorying member will apportion the seizure into two inventories, as described in Item V-B of this directive, and package both inventories in the manner described.
      NOTE:
      When there are large bulk seizures outside normal ISP hours of operation by units besides the Bureau of Organized Crime, the unit commanding officer or district station supervisor of the inventorying unit will arrange for a physical guard to secure the seizure overnight in the garage area of Homan Square until ISP can respond and choose a sampling of the recovered narcotics equal to the the required percentage for prosecution. The use of a physical guard will be noted on the Watch Incident Log (CPD-21.916).
    • 5.indicate in the eTrack system:
      • a.that the narcotics packages inventoried on the first inventory are to be delivered to the Forensics Services Division for submission to the ISP Lab for testing.
      • b.that the narcotics packages inventoried on the second inventory are to be delivered directly to ERPS (not to the Forensic Services Division).
      • c.the inventory number for the associated inventory in each case (in the "Comments" field).
    • 6.the inventories will be approved by the supervisor from the unit of recovery.
  • D.The inventorying officer will remain responsible for submitting a completed court order to confiscate and destroy the second inventory of a bulk seizure to the prosecuting attorney at the first available court hearing. The officer will contact the Narcotics Division for assistance in this procedure.
VI.Inventory of Contaminated Narcotics Evidence
  • A.When a member seizes suspect narcotics evidence that has been contaminated with a volatile substance or which emits a permeating, noxious odor, the member will process the inventory as described in this section.
  • B.Unless evidence that has been contaminated by gasoline or another volatile substance is packaged in a safe manner that does not allow for the escape of fumes, the Forensic Services Division will not accept such evidence for submission to the ISP Lab, nor will ERPS accept such evidence for storage in its warehouse.
  • C.Small Seizures - seizures capable of fitting inside a metal container. Such containers are available in quart and gallon cans and five gallon pails. The recovering unit will be responsible for obtaining the necessary pails from the Forensic Services Division.
    • 1.The officer will attempt to determine whether the evidence itself or just the packaging material has been contaminated.
    • 2.If only the packaging material has been contaminated, the narcotics evidence will be removed from the packaging material and repackaged in the self-sealing Inner Evidence Bag (CPD 11.525) by the recovering officer, following existing narcotics processing procedures.
    • 3.The contaminated material will be inventoried separately and placed into a metal container to prevent the escape of fumes. The officer will label the container to identify its contents and complete an inventory in the eTrack system for that container, indicating a destination of ERPS.
    • 4.If the officer determines that the evidence itself has been contaminated, the evidence and the contaminated packaging need not be separated and the entire package will be placed inside the metal container. The package will contain a warning on the packaging regarding the contamination. The inventory will be designated for a hand-carry transport to the Forensic Services Division.
VII.Responsibilities of Police Documents Section Officers
The Police Documents Section officer will:
  • A.remove the contents from the narcotics safe and examine each Evidence Bag to ascertain that it is properly sealed and the contents have been inventoried correctly.
  • B.if evidence is not properly inventoried or packaged, inform the District Station Supervisor or the designee about the discrepancy. The Police Documents Section officer will return the Evidence Bag to the District Station Supervisor or the designee for correction or re-inventorying by the inventorying officer.
  • C.receive the Narcotic Evidence Log & Transmittal from the District Station Supervisor, check it for accuracy, and fax a copy to the Forensic Services Division. The officer will record on the log the circumstances of any inventories not manifested.
  • D.manifest all inventories to be transported and submit the manifest to the District Station Supervisor or the designee for approval.
  • E.transport the manifested inventories and the original (white page) of the Narcotic Evidence Log & Transmittal to the Forensic Services Division.
  • F.compare and verify with the Forensic Services Division personnel the RD number and Property Inventory number against the original Narcotic Evidence Log & Transmittal (CPD-33.335).
VIII.Responsibilities of Forensic Services Division Personnel
Forensic Services Division Personnel will:
  • A.generate a computerized eTrack label to include the RD number and Property Inventory number for all evidence listed on the Narcotic Evidence Log & Transmittal and the eTrack manifest.
  • B.verify the inventory number and RD number on the Evidence Bags with those numbers listed on the Narcotic Evidence Log & Transmittal and the eTrack manifest.
  • C.take custody of the property by receiving the inventories listed on the eTrack manifest and ensure its safekeeping.
  • D.retain the original Narcotic Evidence Log & Transmittal (CPD-33.335) at the Forensic Services Division in accordance with existing records-retention requirements.
  • E.prepare a list of evidence inventories to be processed by the ISP-FSC-C. Only inventories which resulted in an arrest will be sent to ISP-FSC-C for analysis, unless the recovering officer has submitted an approved To-From-Subject report, stating the need for the analysis. In addition, the Forensic Services Division personnel will generate an eTrack manifest which summarizes evidence to be transported to ISP-FSC-C.
  • F.for all narcotics evidence that requires analysis by ISP-FSC-C:
    • 1.transport the evidence from the Forensic Services Division to the ISP-FSC-C on a Monday-Friday basis.
    • 2.transport evidence which has been processed by ISP-FSC-C to ERPS for storage. The officer will sign and retain a copy of manifest received from ISP-FSC-C.
    • 3.upon arrival at ERPS, record in the eTrack system the delivery of the inventories transported from ISP-FSC-C.
  • G.receive and time stamp a copy of the Court Log-Narcotics Court form submitted by the Court Section on a Monday-Friday basis. In addition, the Forensic Services Division personnel will fax a copy of the Court Log-Narcotics Court form to the ISP-FSC-C and forward a copy via Department mail. ISP-FSC-C will prioritize laboratory tests based on the assigned court date.
  • H.assume the responsibilities assigned to District Station Supervisor as indicated in Item IV-B of this directive when narcotics evidence is hand carried to the Forensic Services Division.
  • I.upon receipt of a discrepancy Laboratory Report from ISP-FSC-C (i.e., contents in the package do not match the description listed in the inventory), forward the report to the inventorying officer.
  • J.upon receipt of a negative Laboratory Report from ISP-FSC-C indicating none of the items on the Property Inventory form is a controlled substance or cannabis, forward the report to the Court Section.
IX.Responsibilities of Evidence and Recovered Property Section Personnel
Evidence and Recovered Property Section personnel will:
  • A.indicate the receipt of inventoried property in the eTrack system.
  • B.receive narcotics evidence analyzed by ISP-FSC-C or unanalyzed evidence, as noted in this directive, and verify the narcotics evidence with the manifest generated by ISP-FSC-C.
  • C.take custody of the inventoried property and ensure its safekeeping.
  • D.receive returned property used as evidence in court from authorized personnel or receive the signed Copy 2-Court Copy of the Property Inventory indicating the turnover of the evidence to the Assistant States Attorney or Assistant U.S. Attorneys Office. The turnover of these inventories will be recorded in the eTrack system.
  • E.periodically review all existing bulk seizures that are currently at ERPS to determine possible disposition options.
X.Disposition of Evidence
In a case in which a final court disposition has been determined, the assigned investigating officer or, if none assigned, the inventorying officer will request from the judge, through the assistant states attorney, a court order directing that the narcotics evidence be confiscated and destroyed. The court order signed by the judge will be forwarded by Court Section personnel to ERPS.
(Items indicated by italics/double underline were added or revised.)
Authenticated by: KC
Garry F McCarthy
Superintendent of Police
15-135 KMS
PHONE BOOK:
1.
Illinois State Police Forensic Science Center at Chicago (ISP-FSC-C)
1941 W. Roosevelt Rd
Monday through Friday, 0800-1630 hours: Contact the Chemistry Section Chief at 312-433-8000, ext. 2018
All other times: Contact the 24-hour Security Desk at 312-433-8000, ext. 2044