Evidence vault out of room at Shelby Co. Sheriff's Office - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Evidence vault out of room at Shelby Co. Sheriff's Office

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It's a critical step between the crime scene and the courtroom. We got an inside look at the evidence vault.  Everything from some of Shelby County's biggest cases, down to the smallest is kept in a small evidence vault inside the Sheriff's office. 

"Every piece of evidence in there is attached to a person," Captain Chris George, Commander, Criminal Investigation Division said. "It's not just a number."

Last year alone, 30,000 pieces of new evidence came through their doors. The problem is...

"We're out of room," George said.
 
Deputies have this small vault, an impound yard, and a loft above the building they use to repair patrol cars. That's it.

"Any opportunity that someone may have in the future to say this evidence was not handled correctly, so we cannot use this evidence later on in court, is one more opportunity that we will not have to get a successful conviction," George said.

Depending on the case, this loot isn't going anywhere anytime soon. Computers or evidence from sex crimes will be stored by the sheriff's office forever. Blood stained clothing and weapons used for murder must be kept until the cases are closed and federal law states the Sheriff must store every ballot from every county election.

The next step is a new building. 

"The Sheriff has already promised and dedicated money from his pistol funds, so there is no money from the County Commission - there's nothing more than agreeing to allow it to be built," George said.

Right now, the Sheriff's Office is working with an architect to design a multipurpose center where it can house evidence. The aim is to build it as soon as possible. 

 

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