Macon Police Department Internal Audit Sparks Concern
Internal audits for the city of Macon were implemented to make the city run more efficiently. Each department receives recommendation after the audits on how to make the operation run smoothly.
The Macon Police Departments Property and Evidence Management procedures were last reviewed in September of 2006. In an official document, the city's internal auditor Stephanie Jones says some of those things need to be adjusted.
On April 5, 2012 an audit from city internal auditor to the Macon Chief of Police Mike Burns offered 5 recommendations for Property and Evidence Operations.
Mike Cranford, former city council member says he is responsible for implement internal audits for the city of Macon. "When I was chairman of appropriations, I decided that we needed to audit every department. I'm Glad to see that the appropriations committee is continuing to audit the departments."
The recommendations include, Enhancing the 2006 plan to be reflective of the current processing environment. Examples include the proper handling of funds to be taken into evidence and internal and external training for crime lab employees.
Other Recommendations include, implementing individual access codes for each officer, establishing procedures for entering information into the database, implementing a process for confiscated fund transactions and using confiscated funds to improve the overall controls for the department.
When Cranford heard about the report for the Macon PD, he filed an open records request."So what I wanted to do was to find out exactly what that audit said, because in every case that I have, as with every other lawyer, there could be a problem with the evidence." he says. The details in the report confirmed his concerns.
"Well the document is very troubling to me. The reason this is troubling because it shows a break down in the chain of custody for evidence and that is very important. “adds Cranford.
He worries that evidence may cause some static for pending cases. "You have got somebody that is charged with a crime and the evidence gets misconstrued or missing or something like this and a person is deprived of a right of a fair and honest trial so to speak."
The audit concluded that adequate controls are not in place to mitigate the inherent risk in the property and evidence functions performed by Macon Police Department.
There was an attempt to contact the Macon Police Department, and our calls were not returned.