In the wake of a major scandal last year concerning guns, drugs and money missing from the evidence room, the Asheville Police Department has hired a new manager and implemented better systems, Chief William Anderson said during a Feb. 4 press conference.
“Not only do we know what happened, we know how it happened and who was responsible,” noted Anderson. But he declined to divulge further information to avoid jeopardizing the criminal investigation, saying only, “We're just waiting for the District Attorney's Office and the SBI to do what they do."
The APD has hired Timothy Scapin, formerly of the Pinellas County (Fla.) Sheriff's Office, to manage the evidence room. Chosen from more than 100 applicants, Scapin was the first person in Florida certified as a property and evidence room specialist by the International Association for Property and Evidence. The city will pay him $50,502 a year.
"We feel this will help us, in the long run, deal with some of the space issues we were having," Anderson explained, adding, "The new property room is much better organized."
He said it will take two to three years to get the evidence room to where it needs to be, and he doesn't know yet if he’ll request more funding. Independent auditor Mike Wright had recommended hiring up to 12 staff.
Last August, Anderson said he would ask District Attorney Ron Moore for a copy of the audit to help him understand what improvements were needed. But the chief said he still hasn't seen the audit and is relying on briefings by Moore and the SBI.
"You'll have to ask the DA,” Anderson told reporters wanting more details.
— — David Forbes