Evidence Management Community of Practice Newsletter


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Vol 1, Issue 5

In This Issue:

Welcome to the Evidence Management Community of Practice Newsletter

This monthly newsletter from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Evidence Management Steering Committee (EMSC) shares information, relevant articles, upcoming events, and training opportunities with evidence management stakeholders. The EMSC is co-funded by NIST and the National Institute of Justice (NIJ).

If you missed our previous issues, you can find them here

The Evidence and Management Survey is Here!

Please click here to start the survey

As property and evidence handlers, your participation in the Evidence Management Survey is critical to shaping industry best practices. The EMSC appreciates your time in completing the survey and values your input. Please encourage as many people as possible from your agency or others that you are aware of that handle evidence outside of your agency to complete the survey. All those who handle or manage property and evidence are eligible to participate.



One of the NIST/NIJ EMSC’s responsibilities is to develop best practices for retention, preservation, integrity, and disposition of evidence and property. This duty includes encouraging the adoption of best practices through education and engagement of the Community of Practice (CoP) stakeholders who handle and manage property and evidence.

Relevant stakeholders include people or organizations responsible for and engaged in collecting or preserving property and evidence. These agencies may include law enforcement, public and private forensic laboratories, hospitals, forensic clinicians, courts, medical examiners/coroners, and policymakers who recommend standards, rules, and laws regarding evidence management. The EMSC recognizes that the expertise represented across the multidisciplinary CoP is invaluable. Collaboration with CoP stakeholders is essential to increasing awareness about evidence management issues.

The Solution

The Solution

To engage CoP stakeholders, inform best practice recommendations, identify knowledge gaps, and develop educational opportunities, NIST and the EMSC must hear from those who manage property and evidence directly and are responsible for proper evidence management. We must identify the education and training evidence handlers and evidence managers receive, their day-to-day practices, and associated policies and procedures from evidence collection to final disposition and disposal.

Laws, policies, and rules governing property and evidence management vary widely across the U.S. and within individual states and local jurisdictions. Understanding the current practice is required so informed guidelines can be developed to improve evidence and property management. Your input is essential to understanding these current practices. Please take the time to complete the survey and encourage others to do the same.

Best Practices


Who should complete the survey?

The Evidence Management Survey is intended for property and evidence handlers across multiple disciplines and agencies, including law enforcement, courts, healthcare facilities, forensic laboratories, and coroner and medical examiner’s offices. Your input is critical whether you are an entity of one or an agency of thousands. Please help us by encouraging as many people as possible from your agency to complete the survey. All those who handle or manage property and evidence can participate at all experience levels.

What is the purpose of the survey?

The survey’s primary purpose is to obtain information regarding property and evidence management practices and the extent of evidence management issues from collection through disposition. These issues include collection, storage, transfer, and disposition practices, as well as related policies, protocols, and standard operating procedures.

Who is conducting the survey?

The NIJ is sponsoring this survey as one project among several led by NIST and NIJ in consultation with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies and federal laboratories to establish evidence retention best practices as required by the 2016 Justice for All Act. 

How was the survey developed?

The survey was developed in consultation with the EMSC, a group of approximately 20 stakeholders selected by NIST and NIJ. These stakeholders represent state, local, and federal agencies and private organizations responsible for managing physical evidence. Subject matter experts from different disciplines whose day-to-day practices involve handling and managing evidence were also involved in the survey development process. With leadership from NIST, the steering committee developed the survey and email lists representative of the CoP and completed pre-testing with a small group representing the CoP. Suggestions for improving the survey were discussed with the EMSC and integrated as appropriate.

The survey is done. What happens next?

Resources for property and evidence management practices are limited, particularly those that apply to diverse evidence handler CoP stakeholders. This survey is the initial information-gathering phase to assess CoP stakeholders’ needs. Information collected from stakeholders completing the survey will be incorporated into a final report outlining recommended evidence management best practices. This NIST-published report will also include emerging themes related to educational needs, policy development, and barriers to managing physical evidence effectively.


The survey is now live and will close on April 2, 2021. It is open to both U.S. and international agencies and we hope you will encourage as many people as possible from your agency or others that you are aware of that handle evidence outside of your agency to participate.

Please click here to start the survey

Events & Training

Due to COVID-19, the dates of in-person training sessions are changing daily. For the most up-to-date list of trainings please refer to the organization’s websites.

Evidence Management for Law Enforcement

Evidence Management for Law Enforcement offers classes designed to provide training, resources, and tools for property and evidence personnel ranging from basic evidence management, evidence room audits, and property and evidence room organization.  

The most up-to-date list of upcoming property and evidence trainings can be found here. 

International Association for Property & Evidence (IAPE) Training

This is a two-day, in-person training that focuses on evidence and property room management best practices. 

The most up-to-date list of upcoming property and evidence trainings can be found here.

Unable to travel? IAPE offers two convenient online training options. Choose between a full, two-day course or individual classes.

Click here to learn more about IAPE's online courses. 

Public Agency Training Council (PATC) - Managing the Property and Evidence Room 

This is a two-day training that provides participants with the techniques and responsibilities involved in the function of a property room.   

The most up-to-date list of upcoming property and evidence trainings can be found here. 

Note: The NIJ, NIST, and EMSC do not sponsor or endorse the training content for any events provided in this list. The events and training sessions provided are for informational purposes only.

Evidence Management in the News

  • Fentanyl Used in Vape Pens
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  • DOJ Awards $192 Million for the Advancement of Forensic Science
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  • Clifton PD returns U.S. Navy Captain's sword seized in 2008 as a result of an arrest
    | Read More

  • Orem city employee runs crime evidence room that holds history of grim stories
    | Read More

  • New building better for police
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