ATWATER, Calif. — Evidence has gone missing in the City of Atwater and it may never be found again.
This is according to the Department of Justice after their audit on the police department’s evidence room.
Michael Salvador is the new chief of the Atwater Police Department. He started 10 weeks ago and he already has a big project on his hands.
“Us releasing this is a black eye on the department,” said Chief Michael Salvador, Atwater Police Department.
“What I hope to gain from this is transparency we didn’t do such a good job, we are taking steps to fix the problem so those problems don’t happen again,” said Salvador.
In the report, it listed a number of issues including lack of property oversight and management, lack of security and training in the evidence room. As a result, the department lost or misplaced evidence and money.
“What happens to the stuff you can’t find, Well unfortunately I can’t tell you what happened to it,” said Salvador. “It could affect cases.”
The DOJ report found no evidence of a criminal act meaning the evidence was never stole but now he has a plan.
Salvador said he plans to remodel it, making it big enough to store all of their evidence in one place. He has already started purchasing new machines for processing, and he says each person in the department will go through a training program.
Salvador knew about the audit before he got the job but says it’s his mission to make the difference in the City of Atwater.