THE HISTORY OF THE CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION FOR PROPERTY AND EVIDENCE
In January of 1988 Robin Trench (Newark PD and President of the Alameda County Association of Property Evidence Custodians), Tina Anderson (Los Gatos PD and President of the Santa Clara Regional Association for Property and Evidence) and Georgia Ford (Ceres PD and President of the Stanislaus County Association for Property and Evidence) were exchanging ideas during a lunch break at a Property Legal Update. One of the suggestions Robin made was that a newsletter to publish property related information would be a fun project to consider after her current term as President was over. In February, Tina published the idea in her Association’s minutes. Calls of interest started pouring in.
In April 1988, Robin, Tina and Georgia decided to make the idea a reality. The strong support of the Chiefs of each department played an important role in this decision.
In the Summer of 1988 the first issue of “Behind Locked Doors” (BLD) was published and a new statewide association involving a merger of the three groups began. Originally the group was called the California State Association for Property / Evidence Custodians (CSAPEC). However, the name proved awkward and a name adjustment (California Association for Property and Evidence) and use of an acronym (CAPE) resolved the concerns.
BLD has been exceptionally well received by property personnel throughout California. The Department of Justice and CLEARS have both expressed a great deal of enthusiasm in the high quality of content the newsletter has displayed. Articles on clandestine lab concerns, facts on AIDS, safety-related issues and bar-coding have been well received and in some cases, reprinted in other magazines. BLD is evolving to a magazine-type format. This edition is the most recent step in our expansion and growth toward a high quality appearance that will match the articles within.
The “bills” of CAPE are paid by membership dues. These dues pay for the publication of the newsletter, mailings, incorporation costs, administration fees, etc. CAPE currently has members from agencies in California and associate memberships from Washington, Connecticut, Arizona and Texas. CAPE was incorporated by the State of California on April 4, 1989. Incorporation has provided an opportunity to formalize our commitment to education and professional networking. We are proud that CAPE has been recognized by both the State and Federal Government.
CAPE’s humble beginnings have lead to a growth that spans the entire state of California. Chapters meet throughout the state on a regular basis. Chapter meetings provide a regular format for ongoing education and information exchange.
CAPE has always advocated education and safety in property and evidence handling. We hold a yearly training seminar to bring the best information and technology to our members. The annual training seminar provides an opportunity to network with other agencies within a unique learning experience.
Through our P.O.S.T. designated liaison, CAPE has played an active part in encouraging the updating of the P.O.S.T. Manual, “Managing Property in Law Enforcement Agencies.” In fact, a committee of C.A.P.E. members will begin working with POST this year on updating the manual.
CAPE has a young but rich history. Mostly because we are made up of law enforcement property and evidence personnel who know that together we can share information, create awareness, and upgrade our profession.
We know that together we can make a difference!