Evidence Room Survey
Updated: Thursday, March 14 2013, 06:50 PM EDT
Our partners at Carolina Public Press conducted a survey of 18 mountain sheriffs to learn more about their practices and policies regarding critical courtroom evidence. It's all part of a nationwide effort to raise awareness about openness in government and the public's right to know during Sunshing Week.
Only about half of the 18 western North Carolina sheriff's agencies responded to the survey requesting public information under the state's freedom of information act. Reporter Jon Elliston says he's learned there's a wide variety of policies across western North Carolina when it comes to handling evidence.
Evidence tampering came to light in a scandal that unfolded at the Asheville Police Department. Other departments in the region have also faced difficulties in handling evidence. Asheville recently hired a new evidence room manager to help sort out their facility after an audit revealed a cluttered mess without proper procedures to identify property including weapons and drugs.