Criminalistics Laboratory - Evidence Room

Evidence room storage

2240 South Ankeny Blvd
Ankeny, IA 50023
Telephone number 515.725.1512
FAX number 515.725.1523
Hours: Monday – Friday 8 am -4:30 pm (Evidence must be here by 4:00 to be processed by 4:30).

  
 

The Evidence Room is responsible for receiving items of evidence from law enforcement agencies and routing those items within the laboratory as needed to complete analytical requests.   Once examinations are complete, items are returned to the Evidence Room to return the originating agency or as described in disposition information as communicated in official laboratory reports.  All items are labeled utilizing barcodes and all records of evidence transfers are kept electronically in a Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS).  Employees in this section are called Evidence Technicians and are responsible for maintaining up to date and accurate chain of custody information and testify in court when needed.

The DCI Laboratory’s Evidence Room processes approximately 30,000 items of evidence annually, accounting for approximately 14,000 cases.   Periodic audits of items stored in the evidence room’s storage locations are performed to ensure the highest level of integrity for evidence submitted and stored in the laboratory.”

  • All evidence coming into the DCI Lab must be PROPERLY SEALED.  The seal should be notated with at least the date you are sealing the evidence and your initials.  Please call the evidence room at 515-725-1512 with any questions about sealing up evidence.

  • A seal is defined as a barrier that must be broken to open an item, the break in the barrier must be easily observed.

  • Heat seals must have the date you are sealing the evidence and your initials written on the seal. 

  • A staple is not considered a seal.

  • If the contents are escaping the container or if you can lift and replace the evidence tape without damage or alteration to the container or its seal it is not considered sealed.

  • Improperly sealed or packaged evidence received by mail will be documented with submitting agency notified, hand-delivered evidence will not be accepted until properly sealed. 

  • An acceptable seal is one that prevents the ready escape of the evidence and will be clearly damaged or altered if broken to enter to package.  

  • Some items of evidence (e.g.  large bulky items, doors etc.) maybe submitted by only covering the area to be tested.

  • Make sure that the evidence is clearly marked so that your agency ID listed on the evidence matches the pre-logged receipt form.

 

Example of a proper seal
                               Example of a proper seal

 

Firearms: All firearms must be unloaded prior to mailing or submission to the lab. Live ammunition must be hand-carried to be submitted.  If the case warrants leaving the cartridges in the weapon then it must be hand-delivered.  The laboratory must be informed that a weapon is loaded. 

Hazardous Chemicals:  Flammable and other hazardous chemical materials must be delivered in person.

Biohazards:  All biohazards must be in a leak-proof container that will contain all contents and prevent leakage during handling, storage, and transport. 

Warning Labels:
Note any warning on the package. For example: Biohazard, Hepatitis or HIV, Glass, Sharp, etc. on the internal packaging.

There should be no indication on the outside packaging when mailed that the package contains evidence (i.e., Drug identification, Firearms examination, etc.).  Outside packaging must include the agency name and return address.

Sharps/Syringes  DO NOT SUBMIT SYRINGES TO THE LAB

  • Remove contents of syringe and place in an appropriate container for submission.  Water may be needed to remove evidence from syringe. If you have questions call the evidence room at 515-725-1512 or contact someone in the Drug Section.

  • All sharps should be placed in a box, not a paper bag.  Write “SHARP” or “Caution” on the box.

Evidence Delivery: Hand-carried, US mailed, Fed Ex, UPS or other couriers.  
Evidence may be delivered in person  8:00 am - 4:00 pm, Monday- Friday.

Evidence Submission:  Regardless of the method of delivering all evidence must be pre-logged using the site below. 

Pre-log site: https://prelog.dps.state.ia.us/webprelog  

 

Questions:

How can I save a biological sample?  

All biological specimens are held for a minimum of 90days after testing is completed.   If you need a sample saved you must contact the evidence room.   All specimens will be returned to the submitting agency as it is not possible for the laboratory to store biological materials on a long term basis

How do I forward a sample to another laboratory?

After contacting the independent laboratory you can forward any paperwork they require to the Evidence Room to be included with the evidence to be sent to the laboratory. 

How do I get a case rushed?

You will need to contact your County Attorney to submit a letter to the evidence room to expedite the case.   This letter must include the court date and  as much of the following as known:

Suspect Name
Agency Case Number 
Laboratory Case Number