Canton Police Dept. evidence organized, city officials look to make upgrades to building

WGEM News at Six
Published: Sep. 19, 2023 at 4:49 PM CDT
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CANTON, Mo. (WGEM) - The City of Canton is closing in on two final candidates for their next police chief position. In Monday night’s city council meeting, Mayor Sharon Upchurch reported there were five original candidates.

Meanwhile, the city is also making strides on reorganizing the very thing the Canton Police Department was under investigation for by the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office and Lewis County Prosecutor... evidence.

In the last month, an outside agency, Police Evidence Audit, LLC. out of North Lawrence, Ohio, was hired to clean the police department’s evidence room, organize the evidence and make an inventory list.

Upchurch said it took roughly 144 hours of work to get the job done, which she said was all monitored by different city officials.

”We needed to do it for our own self respect and also for the future, we also wanted to protect a new chief coming in and not dump that job on him,” Upchurch said.

On top of organizing evidence, the agency presented Upchurch with a list of recommendations for the police department. Humidity control, ventilation and security cameras topped the list.

“Currently there’s two cameras on the outside of the [evidence] room, so they can see who goes into the room but can’t see what goes on once they’re in that room,” Upchurch said.

Before the agency completed the job, Upchurch said there was hardly any room to walk because because the evidence was scattered. Once a new chief is hired, she said a large majority of the evidence will be destroyed.

Now, the council is left with the question on how long the police department will function out of the current building at 106 N. 5th Street.

Upchurch believes it will be several years down the road before some sort of transition is made, even if it’s decided later this year that a relocation is best.

The city accepted a $10,500 bid from Police Evidence Audit, LLC. to do the job. Upchurch said the city first began the bidding process when the investigation surfaced one year ago.


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