DNA evidence stuffed inside lunch-room fridges and a property room missing crime-scene records reflect some reasons why 23 Colorado police departments favor direction from the state on how to manage biological evidence, said a governor’s task force survey reported by the Denver Post. Of the 33 law-enforcement departments responding, nearly two dozen said they would welcome legislation requiring preservation of DNA evidence as long as no financial strings were attached.
Task force chairman Jeffrey Bayless, a retired Denver judge, expressed concern that one eastern Colorado police department acknowledged “putting (DNA) next to the V8” in a cafeteria refrigerator. The nation and Colorado lack uniform standards for overseeing biological evidence, whether it’s an entire carpet or a speck of saliva lining a glass. Several police departments, including Colorado Springs and Denver, have cramped warehouse spaces. Colorado Springs purged thousands of pieces of evidence in 2006 to relieve crowded conditions. Nationally, a major study has shown that more than 70 percent of police departments face critical problems.