Clinton Police Need Space To Store Evidence - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Clinton Police Need Space To Store Evidence

Updated: March 21, 2013 06:27 PM CDT

It's a growing problem at police departments across the area. Too much evidence and nowhere to put it.

The Clinton Police Department calls its current evidence storage system "embarrassing."

"We have virtually run out of space here at the Clinton Police Department," said Captain Tom Bohle.

The fingerprint dusting station shares space with empty cardboard boxes and Styrofoam cups. The evidence processing room is cramped and difficult to work in.

There are two main reasons for the evidence overflow problem at the Clinton Police Department --

DNA technology requires that police officers collect more evidence from crime scenes than in years past. So, the evidence being stored in the building has exponentially grown since the 1970s and 80s.

Also, by law, the nature of the crime determines how long a police determine must store evidence.

"If it's a murder case, we're going to keep it forever," Bohle said. "Sexual assault cases, we may keep for ten years past a person's 18th birthday."

To alleviate the issue, the city has decided to give the police department a vacant city building with 1,500 sq. ft. of room to store evidence.

Still, the police department may grow out of the new building in three to five years.

"This is just a stop-gap between now and then," Bohle said.

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