NIXA, Mo. – Think about all the things you end up with over the course of a year. Your house can end up being cluttered.
Well, the Nixa Police Departments deal with the same problem with unclaimed property being turned into them all the time.
“Right now, we are looking to dispose 1,100 pounds of property,” evidence technician and crime analyst at Nixa Police Department Nathan Daily said. “As you can imagine a lot of those things take up a lot of shelf space.”
That is certainly the case at the Nixa Police Department, as they are getting ready for their annual destruction of unclaimed property.
Daily said they wind up with hundreds of items throughout the year.
“Typically an officer is called out to a scene to recover some type of found property,” Daily said. “That could be a variety of different items. Anything from a needle, unfortunately, being placed in somebody’s yard, to a full-size tent.”
The city requires those items to be held for 60 days. Over that time, they’ll reach out the owner multiple times if there is one. Then, they start looking to clear shelf space. To start that process, they’ll get the green light from the police chief or a judge.
“Whenever we have that written order that comes in, and we have all the authorization we need to destroy that property, we compile a list that goes into a local newspaper,” Daily said.
After that has been posted for two days, they’ll start packing those items up to head to one of the five private organizations Nixa Police Department goes through for property destruction.
“That can be incineration, some items can be recycled,” Daily said. “Some type of biohazards have to be properly destroyed for the environment.”
For things like drugs or paraphernalia, those actually have to be taken out of state, and the destruction must be observed. Daily said the process can actually be fascinating.
“It actually can be quite a bit of fun just to see the amount of stuff that you accumulate in just a years time,” Daily said.
When it comes to money, they have a safe place to keep that outside of the station.
“Whenever we get those items with monetary value, we don’t want to take the risk holding them at the police department, so we actually have a non-interest bearing bank account in which those are transferred over to,” Daily said.
Daily said right now this is a department by department process.
Daily said one thing he would like to see is a more efficient destruction method, as there is currently no organization that can do what they need all in one place, which would make it easier for them.