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WORK SESSION

 

JULY 12, 2021

 

At a WORK SESSION of the Town Council of the Town of South Kingstown, County of Washington, in the State of Rhode Island held at the Town Hall and via video- and tele-conference, in and for said Town on the 12th day of July 2021 at 6:30 PM.

 

            PRESENT:     Abel G. Collins, President

Rory H. McEntee, Vice President

                                    Deborah D. Bergner

                                    Deborah J. Kelso

                                    Jessica L. Rose

 

 

1.         A.        INTERVIEWS Video

 

The Town Council interviews Elizabeth Karp relative to her interest in being appointed to the Affordable Housing Collaborative Committee.

 

The Town Council interviews Sean Johnson relative to his interest in being appointed to the Recreation Commission.

 

The Town Council interviews William Litvin relative to his interest in being reappointed to the Recreation Commission.

 

The Town Council interviews John Biafore relative to his interest in being reappointed to the Recreation Commission.

 

The Town Council interviews Thomas Gilchrist relative to his interest in being reappointed to the Building Code and Minimum Housing Code Boards of Appeals.

 

1.         B.        WORK SESSION Video

 

Discussion ensues relative to the Public Hearing on this evening’s Agenda to consider proposed amendments to Police Department Standing Order No. 430.23 Evidence/Property Collection and Preservation. Police Chief Ewing-Chow notes the amendment is for a procedural change to Section IV. Procedure, D. Evidence Collection and Preservation, 5. Refused Property Procedure to allow interdepartmental email rather than a paper form to issue a deficiency notice.

 

Discussion ensues relative to Communication Item 8D from Ken Burke, Chair, Bicycle – Pedestrian Advisory Committee concerning their Master Plan priorities and a response from the Town Engineer.

 

Discussion ensues relative to Communication Item 8E from Paula Whitford, Chair, School Committee advising of Emily Cummiskey’s resignation from the School Committee and requesting the appointment of an interim member to fill the vacancy.

 

Discussion ensues relative to Communication Item 8G from Sean O’Donnell, Chair, Republican Town Committee regarding appointments to fill School Committee vacancies.

 

Discussion ensues relative to Communication Item 8H from Councilwoman Rose proposing adoption of a resolution designating Juneteenth National Independence Day as a holiday for Town employees.

 

Discussion ensues relative to making appointments to fill vacancies on the School Committee.

 

Discussion ensues relative to New Business Item 12A authorizing an award of contract to Dell Computers for the purchase of computers in an amount not to exceed $75,000 in accordance with RI Master Price Agreement #345.

 

Discussion ensues relative to New Business Item 12C authorizing an award of bid to Martone Service Company, Inc. for the Roof Replacement Project at the Robert Beverly Hale Library.

 

Discussion ensues relative to New Business Item 12D authorizing the Town Clerk to advertise for Order of Notice a Public Hearing relative to filing the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program Year 2020 application to support Westerly Area Rest Meals (WARM) acquisition of the Welcome House facility on North Road. Brian Wagner, Senior Planner gives a brief review.

 

Council Vice President McEntee discusses removing Communication Item 8B from the Consent Agenda. Theresa Murphy, Interim Town Manager explains the status of parking near the Kingston Free Library. Jon Schock, Director of Public Services discusses the RI Department of Transportation’s plans for Route 138 improvements including installation of a crosswalk and ADA compliance.

 

Convened to Regular Session.

 

 

Susan M. Flynn, CMC

Town Clerk

 

 

 

 

 

 

REGULAR SESSION

 

JULY 12, 2021

 

At a REGULAR SESSION of the Town Council of the Town of South Kingstown, County of Washington, in the State of Rhode Island, held at the Town Hall and via video- and tele-conference, in and for said Town on the 12th day of July 2021 at 7:30 PM.

 

            PRESENT:     Abel G. Collins, President

Rory H. McEntee, Vice President

                                    Deborah D. Bergner

                                    Deborah J. Kelso

                                    Jessica L. Rose

 

 

1.         C.        REGULAR SESSION Video

 

2.         PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG Video

 

The Pledge of Allegiance to the flag is given.

 

3.         ROLL CALL Video

 

Roll Call is taken and all members are present.

 

4.         APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETINGS Video

 

A.        Work Sessions: UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: that the minutes of the Work Sessions held on June 28 and June 29, 2021 are accepted, approved and placed on file.

             

B.        Regular Session: UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: that the minutes of the Regular Session held on June 28, 2021 are accepted, approved and placed on file.

 

C.        Closed Executive Session: UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: that the minutes of the Closed Executive Session held on June 28, 2021 are accepted.

 

5.         CONSENT AGENDA Video

 

UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: to remove Communication Item 8B from the Consent Agenda.

 

UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: to approve the Consent Agenda as indicated by (CA) on same, with the exception of Communication Item 8B.

 

(CA)    6A.      UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: to grant a Victualling License to Golden Jade, Inc. d/b/a Peking Tokyo, 120 Fortin Road, Kingston, RI 02881.  Application by Zongdong Zhu, President; Renewal. License No. 60677.               

 

(CA)    6B.      UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: to grant Victualling and Holiday Sales Licenses to the following; Renewals:

 

Bahij Boutros d/b/a International Pockets, 99 Fortin Road, Kingston, RI 02881 subject to approval by the Kingston Fire Chief and RI Division of Taxation. Application by Bahij Boutros, Owner. License No. 68830.

 

Mohamed Hsaine d/b/a Kingston Mart, 100 Fortin Road, Kingston, RI 02881. Application by Mohamed Hsaine, Owner. License No. 66454.

 

Pipeline Restaurant, Inc. d/b/a Caliente Mexican Grill, 99 Fortin Road, Kingston, RI 02881.  Application by Franquin Rodezno; President. License No. 60978.

 

(CA)    6C.      UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: to grant a Holiday Sales License to Crops B&B, LLC d/b/a Crops Beauty and Barber, 99 Fortin Road, Kingston, RI 02881.  Application by Madelyn Selwyn, Member; Renewal. License No. 62400.

 

(CA)    6D.      UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: to grant Holiday Sales and Peddlers Licenses to Stuart Fishman d/b/a Ocean State Novelty, 15 Brandywine Drive, Westerly, RI 02891. Application by Stuart Fishman; Renewal. License No. 71309.

 

(CA)    6E.       UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: to grant Theater and Sunday Sales Licenses to Live Theatre, LLC d/b/a Theatre By The Sea, 364 Cards Pond Road, Wakefield, RI 02879 subject to approval by the Public Services Director. Application by Tom Senter, CFO and General Manager; Renewal. License No. 59263.

 

(CA)    8A.      UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: that emails from William Lawrence, Christie Milligan, Lorraine Simmons, and Andrea Tomlinson in support of the [former] School Superintendent are received and placed on file.

 

(CA)    8C.      UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: that emails from Cecelia Doucette, Elana Kirshenbaum and Stephen Dahl regarding the wireless technology presentation that was given at the July 28, 2021 Work Session of the Town Council are received and placed on file. 

 

(CA)    8F.       UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: that an email dated July 2, 2021 from Sarah Markey advising of her resignation from the School Committee is received and placed on file.

                                   

(CA)    8I.        UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: that any communication added to the Agenda subsequent to this is hereby added by majority vote, in accordance with RIGL §42-46-6 (b) Notice --…  “Nothing contained herein shall prevent a public body, other than a school committee, from adding additional items to the agenda by majority vote of the members.  Such additional items shall be for informational purposes only and may not be voted on except where necessary to address an unexpected occurrence that requires immediate action to protect the public or to refer the matter to an appropriate committee or to another body or official.”

 

(CA)    12B.    UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: to grant the Joint Petition #30335667 of National Grid and Verizon New England to install a new Joint Pole Number 37-50 on the north side of Allen Avenue by house number 455 Allen Avenue, and to use the public ways named for the purposes stated in said petition, that the work be done to the satisfaction of the Director of Public Services and notification to Town for municipal utility mark-out prior to pole setting, and that this approval is conditioned upon the removal of all existing double poles along the entire length of Allen Avenue prior to new pole(s) placement; and any new double poles created as part of this request be removed within sixty (60) calendar days of new pole(s) placement. Said petition is further described in a memorandum from the Public Services Director to the Interim Town Manager dated July 2, 2021 and entitled “National Grid Pole Setting Request – Pole 37-50 Allen Avenue.” Book 6, page 18.                  

 

(CA)    12E.     UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: that any New Business added to the Agenda subsequent to this is hereby added by majority vote, in accordance with RIGL §42-46-6 (b) Notice --…  “Nothing contained herein shall prevent a public body, other than a school committee, from adding additional items to the agenda by majority vote of the members.  Such additional items shall be for informational purposes only and may not be voted on except where necessary to address an unexpected occurrence that requires immediate action to protect the public or to refer the matter to an appropriate committee or to another body or official.”

 

7.         PUBLIC HEARING

 

A.        Notice having been duly given, a Public Hearing is held relative to proposed amendments to Police Department Standing Order 430.23 Evidence/Property Collection and Preservation. Video

 

Police Chief Ewing-Chow makes a presentation noting the only change concerns reporting by interdepartmental email vs. paper. The prior practice was to use a form to issue a deficiency notice. This has been streamlined to the use of email as the means of notification.  Subsequently, Section IV. Procedure, D. Evidence Collection and Preservation, 5. Refused Property Procedure, has been updated to reflect the change in procedure.

 

UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: to close the Public Hearing.

 

POLICY

NUMBER

ORDER

TYPE

ORIGINAL ISSUE DATE

EFFECTIVE

DATE

430.23

standing order

1/12/04

7/12/2021

CHAPTER : SUBSECTION

TITLE

law enforcement operations : police functions

Evidence/property collection and preservation

REVIEW DATES

REVISION DATES

1/10/04, 3/27/18, 7/12/21

1/10/04, 3/27/18, 7/12/21

DISTRIBUTION

REFERENCE

PAGES

sworn personnel

ripac  16.1 – 16.12

13

 

UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: to approve amendments to Police Department Standing Order 430.23 Evidence/Property Collection and Preservation as presented, as follows:

 

 

I.              PURPOSE

The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines for the collection and preservation of evidence and/or property.

 

II.            POLICY

It is the policy of the South Kingstown Police Department to efficiently identify, collect and preserve physical evidence at a crime scene.  All evidence must be carefully collected, correctly identified, properly packaged and secured.  All physical evidence must be accurately described and documented within departmental entries, journals, logs, forms and reports.  In order to ensure the integrity of the evidence, every person who has handled, examined, transported and/or stored the evidence must be accounted for through proper documentation.  This chain of custody must be documented from the moment the evidence is discovered until its final disposal. 

This department will also ensure that all property received by the department is properly stored, readily retrieved and transmitted properly. 

 

III.           DEFINITIONS

Chain of custody - The continuity of the custody of physical evidence, whether at the crime scene or not.  It begins at the time of original collection and ends at the final disposal.

Crime scene - The location where a crime occurred or where the indication of a crime exists.

Crime scene technician - A member of the South Kingstown Police Department who is BCI certified and authorized by the Chief to process crimes scenes and/or serious motor vehicle accidents.

Evidence custodian - A member of the South Kingstown Police Department who is accountable for the control and maintenance of all evidence and property received by the department. 

Item of value - Any item that a reasonable person would estimate the item’s value to be over one hundred dollars ($100.00).

Records Management System (RMS) - The current computerized records management system that the department utilizes to generate case reports and track property received by the department.

 

IV.          PROCEDURE

A.    Duties and Responsibilities – Patrol Division

1.    The Uniform Patrol Division will be responsible for responding to all incidents requiring investigation.

2.    If the incident is criminal in nature, does not require assistance from the Detective Division, but does require the collection of evidence, members of the Patrol Division shall identify, collect, transport, and preserve such evidence in accordance with the protocols set forth in Section D of this policy.

3.    If the incident is non-criminal in nature, but such that requires the collection of property, an officer of the Patrol Division shall collect, transport, document and secure such property in accordance with the property collection protocols set forth in Section C of this policy.

4.    If a member of the Patrol Division determines that an investigation will be referred to the Detective Division, the officer will secure the scene and immediately notify the patrol Officer-in-Charge (OIC) of the nature and circumstances of the incident.

5.    If an officer is unsure of the nature of the incident, he/she should contact the OIC as soon as possible.

6.    If the OIC determines that an immediate response to the crime scene by the Detective Division is required, the OIC (or designee) shall then notify the on-call detective and/or Detective Commander or Detective Supervisor. 

7.    If the Detective Division is called to respond to the scene, officers of the Patrol Division shall:

a.    Secure the scene and prevent any unauthorized individuals from entering. 

b.    Note possible evidence and ensure such evidence is protected from contamination, alteration, damage, destruction, and theft.

c.    Record the name and time of authorized persons entering and leaving the crime scene, utilizing the Crime Scene Sign-in Roster (SKPD Form #211) and forward the log to the responding detective(s) upon arrival.

d.    Assist detectives as needed.

 

B.    Duties and Responsibilities – Detective Division

1.    The Detective Division shall provide technical assistance, via a call-out detective, on a twenty-four (24) hour basis.  The detective call-out list will be posted in the dispatch center.

2.    Detective personnel will be equipped with cell phones so that this service can be provided in a prompt and efficient manner.

3.    The Detective Commander shall be responsible for the storage of equipment utilized for the processing of crime scenes.  This equipment shall be accessible to those responsible for processing crime/accident scenes on a twenty-four (24) basis and shall consist of items needed to perform the following tasks:

a.    Recovery of latent fingerprint evidence

b.    Photography and videography

c.    Crime scene sketching and recording

d.    Collection and preservation of physical evidence

4.    At the request of the Patrol OIC, the Detective Division shall assume the responsibility of processing the crime scene.  Crime scene processing should include, but not necessarily limited to:

a.    The collection and preservation of evidence

b.    Photography and/or videography

c.    Crime scene sketch

d.    Fingerprints Latent /Trace evidence

e.    Contacting the medical examiner

5.    Crime scene processing will be handled by a Crime Scene Technician. The Detective Commander shall be responsible for assigning a qualified department member to process a crime scene and/or take charge of a criminal investigation when deemed necessary. 

6.    Crime Scene Technicians processing a crime scene will photograph, search, collect, preserve, document, transport and submit evidence to the property/evidence room or other authorized location.

7.    Crime Scene Technicians may process items of evidence further utilizing current tools and techniques in a controlled environment, namely the Evidence Processing Room, when required.

8.    If the processing required is beyond the capabilities of the Detective Division, then a detective will submit the evidence to The Rhode Island Crime Laboratory (RICL) or Rhode Island Department of Health Laboratory in a timely manner, following all current requirements and procedures (binder in Detectives) set forth by such laboratories. 

9.    The Detective Commander shall assign, and directly oversee, the department’s Evidence Custodian.   The Evidence Custodian shall be responsible for the receiving, organizing, storage and security of all evidence/property and shall maintain the chain of custody within the Records Management System.

 

C.   Property Collection and Preservation (Non-Criminal Incidents)

1.    Photograph any item of value or any item that has the potential to be associated with any criminal activity or a traffic offense.

2.    Create a “No Crime” offense report documenting the name of the officer seizing the property, the date and time the item was seized, a brief description of the item, the location where the item was located, the location where the item was secured and the names and phone numbers of any person associated with the item (finder, possible owner etc.)

3.    If the item warranted a photograph, download the photograph into the report via the records management system.

4.    All seized items will be transported to the police station and secured in a proper and timely manner.

5.    Whenever property is received, the reporting officer will make every attempt to determine and contact the rightful owner.  The results of such attempt(s) should be documented in the officer’s report.  Citizens inquiring upon “Lost” items may contact the Evidence Custodian or inquire via email at lostandfound@skpd.org.

6.    All items seized that contain multiple items of value shall be segregated and issued separate property numbers, i.e. money, controlled substances. 

 

D.   Evidence Collection and Preservation (Criminal Incidents)

1.     Searching for Evidence

a.    The mechanics of the search method may vary (i.e., area, sector, concentric, spiral, etc.)

b.    Officers should examine each item very carefully, thoroughly and completely while ensuring scene maintenance, security and items evidentiary value and integrity.

c.    Officers should give special attention to fragile evidence that may be destroyed or contaminated, if not collected upon discovery.

d.    All strange odors should be noted.

e.    Officers should treat as evidence all items that are foreign to the area in which they are found (i.e., hair, fibers, earth particles, etc.)

f.     A crime scene search shall include a detailed examination for visible, plastic, and latent finger and/or palm prints and foot impressions.

g.    The search is completed when the area has been thoroughly examined, pertinent photographs taken and necessary notes completed.

2.    Collecting Evidence

a.    After the search has been completed and sketches and photographs have been taken, the evidence may be collected.

b.    One (1) officer will be the lead evidence collector.  This will allow for the orderly and professional gathering of items to ensure security, safe handling, and proper chain of custody.

c.    For all items of evidence collected, a list containing the following information should be prepared:

(1)  A description of the item(s), including the make, model and serial number, if any.

(2)  The source (from whom or where the item(s) was/were obtained from).

(3)  The name of the person collecting the item(s).

(4)  Case number, location of crime and date of collection

d.    Officers should only handle evidence when necessary

e.    Officers shall wear gloves when at a potential crime scene and when handling evidence, as it will prevent the contamination of evidence and potential transfer of communicable diseases to officers.  Officers should, however, be aware that handling items that contain latent prints, trace and/or DNA evidence even while wearing gloves, can destroy or damage potential evidence.  Due to this, extreme care and consideration should be applied when handling such items.

f.     The use of protective clothing/suits should be worn when appropriate.

g.    If the fingerprints of an officer are placed upon any item of evidence, it should be noted in the field notes and final reports.

h.    If needed, an article may be cut out, taken away, or removed from its original environment (i.e., parts of carpet, upholstery, walls, doors, ceiling, vehicle parts, etc.)

i.      Special types of evidence necessitate special handling procedures:

(1)  Liquid blood samples should be placed in properly sealed containers and promptly refrigerated

(2)  Wet or bloody clothing should be dried within the drying chamber, located in the evidence processing room, and then packaged in paper bags.

(3)  Physiological fluids should be frozen.

(4)  Items possibly supporting latent fingerprints should be protected from any movement or actions that might destroy or contaminate the prints.

3.    Containing and Marking the Evidence

a.    The main purpose in using proper containers is to prevent a change in the physical evidence through:

(1)  Loss by leakage

(2)  Evaporation or seepage

(3)  Contamination

(4)  Mixture or mingling

(5)  Alteration

(6)  Pilferage

b.    The investigating officer and the evidence custodian are directly responsible for the preservation and security of evidence.

c.    To ensure the preservation of evidence and the prevention of contamination, all items should be properly packaged utilizing the guidelines set forth within current departmental training standards. (Binder in Report Writing)

d.    Evidence should not be bent or forced into a container.  Padding may be added to prevent the object from moving, sliding, or rolling within a container.  All evidence or property shall be packaged accordingly unless otherwise not practicable.

e.    The container/packaging shall be marked with the following information:

(1)  Name or initials of the officer who packaged the item

(2)  The date the item was packaged

(3)  The property number

(4)  The case number

(5)  Brief description of the item

(6)  Indication of hazard warnings (biological material, hazardous material, sharp item, etc.)

f.     All property should be properly packaged and sealed in such a way that a container cannot be opened unless a seal is broken.   The officer shall mark his/her initials and the date over the seal.  Any evidence, especially narcotics or currency that is not sealed properly will not be accepted by the evidence custodian. 

g.    Cash shall be counted by two (2) officers and sealed within an envelope in the presence of both officers.  Both officers shall then initial or sign over the seal.

h.    When seizing weapons, ammunition and magazines shall be separated from the weapon.

i.      All items shall be packaged as outlined in the evidence processing manual available to officers.

j.      When it is not practical to set an item within a container (too large, oddly shaped, etc.), the item may be directly marked or tagged, as long as such marking or tagging does not interfere with the integrity of the item.

4.    Evidence Submittal

a.    All seized evidence or property MUST be recorded on the evidence submittal form (SKPD Form#197) regardless of the storage location.  All sections of the submittal form are to be filled out including:

(1)  Date and time the item was seized and submitted

(2)  The location where the item was seized

(3)  Property number

(4)  Case report number

(5)  Officer who seized the item

(6)  Officer who submitted the item

(7)  Warning indications  and/or processing request

b.    Officers will secure seized evidence and property only in a designated evidence locker, along with the submittal form and a copy of the RMS Property Label, in a timely manner upon arrival to the station. 

c.    It will be the responsibility of the submitting officer to request crime/forensic laboratory examination of narcotics and/or other controlled substances.  The submitting officer shall complete the Department of Health Toxicology Request Form and submit it with the evidence in the locker.   Blood kits shall be stored and locked in the designated refrigerator.  The toxicology request form and key to the lock box shall be stored in a temporary locker.  The Detective Division shall be notified of stored blood kits without delay for proper transfer or storage. 

d.    The Evidence Custodian reserves the right to refuse any evidence/property that has not been packaged or submitted according to the proper procedures herein.  The Evidence Custodian shall advise any officer and the officer’s supervisor of such refusal and request correction.  Under circumstances of repeat violations by the same officer, the Evidence Custodian shall advise the Detective Commander so that remedial training and/or discipline may be issued through the chain of command.

e.    Any property/evidence received by any member of the department shall be entered into the property tab of the Records Management System and secured within an authorized storage area prior to the end of the employee’s shift.

5.    Refused Property Procedure

a.    The Evidence Custodian will return the evidence to an evidence locker and document the return within the Records Management System (RMS).

b.    The Evidence Custodian or a detective supervisor will send a department email to the officer and that officer’s supervisor, advising of the deficiency and the reason for the refusal.

c.    The key to the appropriate evidence locker will be placed in the drop box located outside of the Patrol Lieutenant’s Office. The officer’s supervisor will transfer the key to the officer so the necessary corrections can be made. 

d.    After making the corrections, the officer will resubmit the evidence/property utilizing proper submittal protocols and update the property tracking within the RMS case file.

e.    Each Patrol Lieutenant will maintain a file of all evidence property refusal documents (emails) issued to officers under his/her command.  The Detective Commander will maintain a master file of all such notices.

6.    Evidence Storage

a.    Authorized Temporary Storage Areas for property and/or evidence are:

(1)  First Floor Lockers, labeled 1 through 21.

(2)  Second Floor Lockers, labeled 22 through 28

(3)  North Garage, south bay

b.    Containers containing liquid, whether open or sealed, should be placed in Locker# 7.  If not available, officers should place any item containing liquid in one of the other lockers within the bottom row at ground level.

c.    Large, bulky items that cannot fit within an evidence locker should be placed in the south bay of the north garage. When any item is secured in this area, the submitting officer MUST send an email to both the Evidence Custodian and the Detective Commander advising them of the placement.  In addition, the caged entry door to this area shall be locked and evidence/crime scene tape should be placed across the garage door indicating the presence of evidence. 

d.    When any item of evidence is located within the south bay of the north garage, there shall be NO access to this area by ANY civilian or member of the department without prior approval from the Detective Commander.

e.    The Evidence Custodian will regularly check the evidence lockers and transfer the evidence to the appropriate storage area as necessary and maintain chain of custody documentation within the Records Management System. 

f.     Authorized Final Storage Areas for property and/or evidence are:

(1)  First Floor Evidence Room

(2)  Second Floor Evidence Room

(3)  Caged area in the south bay of the north garage

(4)  Impound Lot

g.    No person shall ever enter any of the authorized final storage areas without being accompanied by either the Evidence Custodian or the Detective Commander.  The Evidence Custodian and the Detective Commander are the only individuals allowed within these areas unaccompanied. 

h.    All attempts shall be made to secure vehicles that are in need of processing in the south bay of the north garage.

 

E.    Transfer of Evidence

1.    The Evidence Custodian will ensure proper recording of the evidence and the maintenance of the chain of custody.

2.    Any items removed or transferred from evidence storage, for any purpose, will be recorded within the Records Management System.

3.    When documenting the transfer/movement of evidence, the following information must be entered into the Records Management System:

a.    Property Number

b.    Case Number

c.    Reason for removal or transfer (Examination, laboratory, court, destruction, return to owner, etc.)

d.    Name of the officer releasing the item (should always be either the Evidence Custodian or Detective Commander)

e.    Name of the officer receiving the item

f.     Date and time of the transfer

g.    Name and location of the laboratory/facility/law enforcement agency, if applicable.

4.    When any property is returned to its owner, a written receipt will be printed.  The receipt will be signed and dated by the receiving party and the receiving officer.  A file containing all such receipts shall be kept and maintained by the Evidence Custodian.

5.    Detective Division members, or a designee of the Detective Commander, will be responsible for the transfer of evidence to appropriate laboratories. 

6.    Items of evidence will be packaged and transmitted consistent with the requirements of the receiving laboratory. (Binder in Detectives.)

7.    The officer transferring the evidence to the laboratory will obtain a receipt to ensure maintenance of the chain of custody.  The officer will also document the transfer in the case report narrative and scan a copy of the receipt into the case using the Records Management System.  One hard-copy of the receipt shall remain with the written case report and one shall be given to the Evidence custodian for file keeping purposes.  

8.    A written report of any examination performed and any laboratory results will be kept and documented in writing within the corresponding report.

 

F.    Dangerous Narcotics/Materials

1.    All officers will receive training on the proper handling of potentially dangerous substances such as, but not limited to, Fentanyl.

2.    The inhalation or mere handling of such substances can result in serious injury or even death to an officer.  Due to this, extreme care and strict protocols shall be followed when collecting, handling and submitting such substances.

3.    When encountering a substance suspected to be heroin, fentanyl or any similar drug, the following precautions should be made:

a.    Never handle the substance or any carrier of the substance without wearing gloves.

b.    Personal Protective Equipment should be utilized if available.

c.    Do NOT field test the substance.

d.    The substance should be double bagged before transporting

e.    At the station, the item should be sealed using the heat sealer located in Report Writing.  Instructions for the use of the sealer are located on the side of the unit.

f.     Clear, concise and noticeable marking should be placed on the outside of the packaging warning of the possible hazard (i.e.:  Warning: Possible Fentanyl)

g.    The item should be secured within an evidence locker as soon as possible.

4.    Hazardous substances, such as gasoline, kerosene or any other type of chemical or substance that may emit a noxious odor should be secured in the Hazardous Evidence Locker, located in the north garage, along with the Evidence Submittal slip and RMS Property Label.  An email should be sent to the Evidence Custodian, The Detective Commander and the Captain of Operations advising them of the placement.  Hazardous chemicals should NOT be placed in evidence lockers. 

 

G.   Seizure of Computer Equipment

1.    Prior to conducting any search that is likely to result in the discovery of computer equipment, the investigating officer should contact the Rhode Island State Police Computer Forensics Division for assistance.  If a computer specialist is unavailable, members should follow the listed procedures to protect against the loss of electronic evidence.

a.    Immediately restrict access to the computer.

b.    Isolate the computer from phone lines to restrict remote access

c.    Consider the need to preserve the computer area for potential fingerprints.

d.    If the computer is “OFF”, do not turn it “ON”.

e.    If the computer is “ON”, photograph the screen and then disconnect all power sources.  Unplug the power cord from the back of the computer first and then remove the cord from the wall outlet. 

f.     Place evidence tape over each drive slot.

g.    Photograph, diagram and label the back of computer components with existing connections in place.

h.    Label all connection/cable ends to allow for reassemble as needed.

i.      If transport is required, package components and transport/store as fragile cargo.

j.      Computer equipment should not be placed near radios units in the trunks of departmental vehicles and officers should avoid radio transmissions while transporting equipment.

k.    Computer equipment should have limited exposure to sun or extreme heat.

l.      If the computer is part of a larger network system (usually found within a business setting), do not attempt to disconnect any part of the computer system as this may damage the system, disrupt legitimate business and/or create member and department liability.  Secure the computer station area until a computer specialist is available. 

m.   If the owner of the equipment is the suspect in a crime, the owner should be advised of his/her Miranda warnings. 

n.    Prior to the disconnection of the computer, the owner should be asked if there are any protections in place such as encryption or auto delete programs.  The owner should be asked to provide all passwords for computer access and social media.

2.    Cellular phones have special considerations.

a.    If the device is not password protected or the PIN/password/PUK (Pin Unlock Key) is confirmed, then power off the phone and remove the battery.

b.    If it is unknown whether the device is password protected or the password is unknown, then do not power off the device.  The device can be placed in an arson can or put into “Airplane” mode if remote access or data loss due to subsequent incoming activity is a concern.

 

H.   Documentation

1.    All officers involved in the processing of a crime scene will document their role (photography, sketching, protecting the scene, collecting and preserving evidence, etc.) in a report narrative.  The report narrative filed by officers processing crime/accident scenes will contain the following information:

a.    The officer’s name, date and time of arrival at scene

b.    Location of the scene

c.    Name(s) of victim(s), suspect(s) and all involved parties

d.    The weather conditions (approx. temperature, visibility, precipitation etc.)

e.    Number of photographs taken and type of camera equipment utilized

f.     Measurements taken, if any

g.    Documentation of all evidence recovered, including:

(1)  Assigned property number, description and owner information

(2)  Make, model and/or serial number of item, if applicable

(3)  Location where the item was located

(4)  Name of the seizing officer

(5)  Physical condition of each item of evidence

(6)  Investigating officers will document all procedures used to locate and recover all visible and latent evidence

h.    Documentation of the appropriate reasons for not taking photographs or not recovering particular physical evidence

 

I.      Photography/Videography

1.    The crime scene should be photographed and/or video recorded before any search has begun.  In a team situation, one (1) person should be assigned to all photography and video recording.

2.    There should be no personnel within the scene during this time and no police equipment should be included in the photographs except as necessary for processing purposes.

3.    Items of evidence may not be moved or examined until they have been photographed and/or video recorded from all relevant angles.

4.    Each item of evidence should be photographed, so as to depict its location in the scene of sketches and notes.

5.    Crime scene photographs and/or video recordings should include the following:

a.    Approaches to the scene

b.    The surrounding area

c.    The general scenario

d.    Relevant close-ups

e.    An overall, intermediate (now referred to as “evidence establishing”) and close-up of each item of evidence

f.     Body positions should be photographed from a north, south, east and west perspective as well as an identification shot of the victim’s face, if possible.  A close-up photograph should be taken from relevant angles of any wound or evidence found upon the victim.  The area beneath the body should be photo graphed after removal.

g.    Any fingerprints, bloodstains, tool marks, bite marks, damaged areas, skid marks, tire tracks, vehicle identification numbers, glass impressions etc.

h.    In photographs where a scale is required, two (2) photographs should be taken; one (1) with a scale in the photograph and one (1) without.

6.    When seizing any electronic device, power tool or any other item that bears a marked serial number and/or make/model tag, such identifying labels should be photographed.  Photographs should be clear, legible and complete.

7.    Digital photographs will be saved onto disk or loaded into the RMS without delay.

 

J.    Crime Scene Sketch

1.    When applicable, the investigating officer and/or member of the Detective Division may create a sketch of the crime scene.  This sketch will include, but is not limited to, the following:

a.    Dimensions of the crime scene

b.    Relation of the crime scene to other buildings or landmarks

c.    Location of significant features of the crime scene, including the victim

d.    Locations of physical evidence recovered

e.    The address, floor, or room number, as appropriate

f.     Direction of north indicator

g.    Date and Time of preparation

h.    Name of person(s) preparing the sketch

 

K.    Fingerprints

1.    A crime scene search will include a detailed examination for visible, plastic, latent, and patent fingerprints when appropriate.  Officers performing this function will preserve all developed prints.

2.    All surface areas in and around the crime scene that have the potential of retaining finger and/or palm prints will be searched and processed using an appropriate method determined by the crime scene technician.

3.    Fingerprints found at a crime scene will be immediately recorded by photography before any attempt is made to lift the prints.  One photograph of the print will be taken with a scale present in the photograph and one will be taken without the scale present.

4.    The fingerprint lift card will contain the following information:

a.    Case number

b.    Date and time of lift

c.    Name of officer making the lift

d.    Exact place the print was lifted from

e.    Type of object the print was lifted from

f.     A sketch of the print location, if necessary

5.    Elimination fingerprints will be obtained from all persons who may have had access to the crime scene.  Elimination prints will be used to exclude prints of persons who had legal access to a crime scene.  This includes any deceased victim (s).

6.    Elimination fingerprints from known individuals will contain the following information:

a.    Person’s name and date of birth

b.    Person’s address

c.    Date the prints were taken

d.    Signature of the person

e.    Signature of the officer taking the prints

f.     Prints should be labeled, “for elimination purposes”

7.    Fingerprints from known individuals, latent fingerprints, and all other fingerprint evidence will be stored in such a manner as to preserve evidentiary value through proper identification, packaging, security, and chain of custody.

 

L.    Audits and Inspections

1.    The Evidence Custodian and Detective Commander are accountable for all property within their control.

2.    At least semi-annually, The Detective Commander will conduct an inspection of adherence to procedures used for property control.

3.    Whenever the Evidence Custodian is transferred or replaced from his/her assignment, an inventory of property shall be conducted jointly by the newly designated Evidence Custodian and a designee of the Chief of Police, to ensure that records are correct and property annotated.

4.    A scheduled annual audit of property and evidence shall be conducted by an employee, not routinely or directly connected with property control, assigned by the Chief of Police. 

5.    At least once a year, the Chief of Police shall direct the completion of an unannounced inspection of all property storage areas.

M.   Training

1.    All officers shall receive training in crime scene search techniques and accident scene processing during their basic recruit academy training.

2.    Due to the fact that the techniques and procedures of crime scene processing is constantly evolving, officers involved in the process shall be provided with in-service training as well as training from outside agencies and departments that maintain expertise in these and related areas.

3.    Efforts shall be made to afford officers the opportunity to obtain specialized training and expertise in, but not limited to, the following areas of crime/accident scene processing:

a.    Identifying, collecting, preserving and transmitting physical evidence, including perishable and/or biological materials.

b.    Preparing crime scene and accident scene sketches and diagrams.

c.    Recovery of latent fingerprints and palm prints.

d.    Recovery of foot, tool and tire impressions.

e.    Photographing crime and accident scenes.

f.     Crime/accident scene analysis reconstruction.

 

By Order of: Joel J. Ewing-Chow, Chief of Police

 

8.         COMMUNICATIONS

B.        Susan Axelrod is in attendance on Zoom and discussion ensues relative to concerns regarding road reconstruction and its effects on parking for the Kingston Free Library, and it is Video

UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: that an email dated June 28, 2021 from Susan Axelrod, President, Kingston Improvement Association concerning the reconfiguration of Upper College Road and its effect on parking for the Kingston Free Library is received, placed on file and the Town Council directs the Interim Town Manager to continue negotiations with URI.

 

D.        Jenn Judge is in attendance on Zoom and discussion ensues relative to the Bike-Ped’s suggestions for transportation improvements and the Town Engineer’s review of those recommendations, and it is Video

 

UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: that an email dated July 1, 2021 from Ken Burke, Chair, Bicycle – Pedestrian Advisory Committee concerning their Master Plan priorities is received, placed on file and the Town Council directs that the BPAC be invited to discuss their Master Plan priorities at the Town Council meeting on September 13, 2021.

 

E.         Paula Whitford, Chair and Michelle Brousseau, Vice Chair are present and discuss the need to fill the School Committee vacancies with members of the community that will bring balance and diversity to the School Committee, and it is Video

 

UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: that a letter dated July 1, 2021 from Paula Whitford, Chair advising of Emily Cummiskey’s resignation from the School Committee and requesting the appointment of an interim member to fill the vacancy is received and placed on file; discussion of the procedure to be followed is referred to Appointments Item 11B.

 

G.        UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: that an email dated July 5, 2021 from Sean O’Donnell, Chair, Republican Town Committee concerning Council appointments to fill vacancies on the School Committee due to the resignation of 2 members is received, placed on file and the Town Council asked that he refer members from the Republican Party to apply. Video

 

H.        Discussion ensues relative to a communication from Councilwoman Jessica L. Rose proposing the adoption of a resolution designating Juneteenth National Independence Day as a holiday for Town employees beginning June 19, 2022. The Interim Town Manager notes there are implications for Employee Collective Bargaining Agreements. The Town Solicitor advises against adopting this resolution at this time, and it is Video

 

UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: that a resolution designating Juneteenth National Independence Day as a holiday for Town employees beginning June 19, 2022 is received, placed on file and the Town Council directs that it be tabled until the State adopts Juneteenth as a holiday.

 

9.         COMMENTS FROM INTERESTED CITIZENS Video

 

Council President Collins invites residents to come forward with comments.

 

Margie Bucheit is present and comments regarding hunting at Trustom Pond National Wildlife Refuge and parking on Matunuck School House Road.

 

Al and Diane Rosner are present and comment on pedestrian safety due to parking on the side of Matunuck School House Road.

 

William Ohley is present and comments relative to parking on Matunuck School House Road.

 

Chris Iredale is present and speaks in support of Theresa Murphy, Interim Town Manager.

 

Gary Chapman is present and comments on Suez Water, the Town’s water supply, and potential use of American Rescue Plan stimulus funding for infrastructure improvements.

 

UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: to add the topic of the Town water supply to the agenda for discussion.

 

Jon Schock, Director of Public Services reviews the Town’s water service, and discussion ensues.

 

Sean Cote is present and comments regarding appointments to the School Committee.

 

Paula Whitford comments regarding appointments to the School Committee.

 

Dorald Beasley is present and comments on the school system, appointment of School Committee members, hiring of the next School Superintendent, and the Trustom Pond National Wildlife Refuge.

 

Stephen Dahl is in attendance on Zoom and thanks the Town Council for the time allotted at the last meeting for the wireless technology presentation.

Council President Collins comments on the success of the Town’s Fourth of July celebration, notes the recent passing of local attorney H. Jefferson Melish, and that the School Building Committee’s Technical Review Committee has sent out an RFP for architectural firms.

 

10.       TOWN MANAGER’S REPORT Video

 

The Interim Town Manager reports that the Governor has extended the State Declaration of Emergency to August 6th, and the Executive Order related to the Open Meetings Act is set to expire on July 23rd; and the Cornerstone Adult Day Services is setting up at the former Adult Day Care Building. The Police Chief reviews the parking restrictions that are currently in place for Matunuck School House Road. The Interim Town Manager’s Interim Report dated July 1, 2021, and the Miscellaneous Report dated July 8, 2021 are accepted, approved and placed on file.

 

11.       APPOINTMENTS Video

 

A.        UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: to appoint Elizabeth Karp to the Affordable Housing Collaborative Committee for a term to expire in August 2024.

 

UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: to reappoint Thomas Gilchrist to the Building Code and Minimum Housing Code Boards of Appeals for a term to expire in June 2026.

 

UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: to reappoint John J. Biafore to the Recreation Commission for a term to expire in June 2023.

 

UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: to reappoint William M. Litvin to the Recreation Commission for a term to expire in June 2024.

 

UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: to appoint Sean C. Johnson to the Recreation Commission to fill a term to expire in June 2023.

 

B.        Discussion ensues relative to appointments to fill the School Committee vacancies and a time frame for the process. A Joint Work Session with the School Committee will be scheduled for Monday, August 2nd at 7:00 p.m. to interview candidates, with the deadline for applications set for July 23rd. A Regular Session will be scheduled for Thursday, August 5th at 7:30 p.m. to appoint members to the School Committee. The vacancies will be advertised in the newspaper and on the Town website and social media pages.  The Town Council and School Committee members may formulate interview questions for the applicants and send them to the Interim Town Manager for compilation of a list from which standard questions will be chosen at the July 26th Council meeting. Video

 

12.       NEW BUSINESS

 

A.        UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: to authorize an award of contract to Dell Computers, PO Box 643561, Pittsburgh, PA 15264-3561 for the purchase of computers in an amount not to exceed $75,000 in accordance with RI Master Price Agreement #345; as described in a memorandum from the IT Director to the Interim Town Manager dated July 7, 2021 and entitled “Computer Replacement Recommendation.” Video

C.        UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: to authorize an award of bid to Martone Service Company, Inc., 22 Sextant Lane, Narragansett, RI 02882 for the Roof Replacement Project at the Robert Beverly Hale Library including labor, supplies and all appurtenances in an amount not to exceed $28,050, including contingency; and as further detailed in a memorandum from the Facilities Superintendent to the Interim Town Manager dated July 2, 2021 and entitled “Bid Recommendation – R.B. Hale Roof Replacement.” Video

 

D.        UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: to authorize the Town Clerk to advertise for Order of Notice a Public Hearing relative to filing the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program Year 2020 application to support Westerly Area Rest Meals (WARM) acquisition of the Welcome House facility on North Road, for the purposes of reviewing the draft application and obtaining citizen views on the proposed activities. Video

 

13.       CLOSED EXECUTIVE SESSION Video

 

UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: to recess to Closed Executive Session at 9:30 PM pursuant to RIGL §42-46-5(a)(1) to discuss matters pertaining to investigative proceedings regarding allegations of misconduct, either civil or criminal re: AFL-CIO mailer.

 

Regular Session is reconvened at 10:23 PM, and it is

 

UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: to seal the minutes of the Closed Executive Session held pursuant to RIGL §42-46-5(a)(1) to discuss matters pertaining to investigative proceedings regarding allegations of misconduct, either civil or criminal re: AFL-CIO mailer.

 

It is noted that no votes were taken during the Closed Executive Session.

 

UNANIMOUSLY VOTED:  to adjourn at 10:24 PM.

 

Susan M. Flynn, CMC

Town Clerk

 

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