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Page Title: Evidence Custodian
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above  who  is  appointed  in  writing  by  the  CO.  The person  appointed  as  evidence  custodian  should  be available to receive and release evidence and attend to other administrative matters as required. The  criteria  for  appointment  and  duties  of  the alternate  custodian  are  the  same  as  those  for  the custodian. The alternate custodian should assist the custodian and be available when the custodian is not. The  custodian  and  alternate  should  not  be  sent TEMADD at the same time or otherwise be absent from the job. Chain of Custody The  chain  of  custody  begins  when  an  item  of evidence is collected, and the chain is maintained until the  evidence  is  disposed  of.  The  chain  of  custody assures  continuous  accountability.  This  accountability is inportant because, if not properly maintained, an item may be inadmissible in court. The  chain  of  custody  is  a  chronological  written record of those individuals who have had custody of the evidence  from  its  initial  acquisition  until  its  final disposition. These persons in the chain of custody must be   identified   on   the   OPNAV   5527/22,   Evidence/ Property  Custody  Document,  which  is  initiated  when the  evidence  is  acquired. Each  individual  in  the  chain  of  custody  is responsible for an item of evidence to include its care, safekeeping, and preservation while it is under his or her control. Because of the sensitive nature of evidence, an evidence  custodian  is  provided  to  assume  responsibility for  the  evidence  when  not  in  use  by  the  investigating officer of other competent authority involved in the investigation; for example, a TC. Evidence Custodian The evidence custodian must be a commissioned officer,  warrant  officer,  or  an  enlisted  person  appointed on competent orders. The person appointed as the custodian should be available to receive and release evidence and attend to other matters as required. The  criteria  for  appointment  and  duties  of  the alternate  custodian  are  the  same  as  those  for  the custodian. The alternate is to assist the custodian and is available when the custodian is not. The custodian and alternate should not be absent at the same time. The alternate does not make final disposition on any item of evidence. Records The Evidenc/Property Custody Receipt, OPNAV Form 5527/22 (fig. 6-23), is issued as the official record of receipt, chain of custody, and final disposition of items of physical evidence. EVIDENCE RECEIPT.—  When using this form as  an  evidence  receipt,  prepare  an  original  and  three copies. Present  the  original  and  first  copy  to  the evidence custodian, give the second to the person from whom the evidence was received, and place the third in the  report  file.  When  items  of  evidence  gained  during one transaction exceed the space allotted on a single form, continue the list on additional forms. EVIDENCE VOUCHER.—  The original chain of custody form becomes a voucher and is given a voucher number  when  it  is  presented  to  the  evidence  custodian. Number  evidence  vouchers  consecutively  for  each calendar year. Write these numbers in the margin at the bottom right corner of the form. Pencil in the location of the evidence accounted for with the voucher on the bottom left margin of the form and erase and change it whenever  the  location  of  the  evidence  changes;  for example, located in evidence room safe, items 1 and 2 in safe, items 3 and 4 in evidence bin No. 6. Complete  the  chain  of  custody  section  on  the evidence voucher whenever any part of the evidence leaves  the  office,  is  returned,  or  a  new  evidence custodian assumes control. The  original  evidence voucher  should  not  leave  the  office  except  for submission in court. Maintain a duplicate copy in the voucher file to show the disposition of the original. EVIDENCE  SUBVOUCHER.—   A  chain  of custody  form  used  as  a  subvoucher  accompanies evidence to record any changes of custody that may occur  while  the  evidence  leaves  the  evidence  room.  Use a copy of the original evidence voucher or make an extract of the original. Always prepare subvouchers in duplicate  with  the  original  accompanying  the  evidence. Number subvouchers consecutively; for example, SV-1 and SV-2. Add this number to the number of the original voucher. When only part of the items listed on a voucher is to be removed from the evidence room, prepare an evidence subvoucher. Prepare it exactly as the original voucher but include only those items being released in the description of evidence. ORIGINATION.— Rarely if ever will you have to start the original chain of custody receipt. Normally, this is begun at base security or NCIS. Understanding the need for maintaining the chain of custody to properly 6-40

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