525.15  POLICE DISPOSITION OF CONTRABAND AND OTHER PROPERTY.
   (a)   Definitions.  “Contraband”  means the property in any of the categories stated in Ohio R.C. 2901.01(M)(1-10).
   (b)   Disposition of Property, Other Than Contraband Held by Police Department.
      (1)   Any property other than contraband, that is subject to the provisions of Ohio R.C. 2933.43 and other property that has been lawfully seized in relation to a violation of Ohio R.C. 2933.42, that has been lost, abandoned, stolen, seized pursuant to a search warrant or otherwise lawfully seized or forfeited, and that is in the custody of the Police Department shall be kept safe pending the time it no longer is needed as evidence and shall be disposed of pursuant to this section.  The Department shall maintain an accurate record of each item of the property here described to include the date on which each item of property came into Department custody, the manner in which it was disposed of, the date of its disposition and the name of the person who received the property if it was not destroyed.  The record of any property that is no longer needed as evidence shall be open to the public inspection during regular business hours.
      (2)   The Department shall make a reasonable effort to locate the persons entitled to possession of property in its custody, and to notify them when and where it may be claimed.  In the absence of evidence identifying persons entitled to custody, it is sufficient notice to advertise in a newspaper of general circulation in the County, briefly describing the nature of the property in custody and inviting persons to view and establish their right to it.
      (3)   A person loses any right he may have to possession of property:
         A.   Which was the subject, or was used in a conspiracy or attempt to commit, or the commission of, an offense other than a traffic offense, and such person is a conspirator, accomplice or offender with respect to the offense;
         B.   When, in light of the nature of the property or the circumstances of such person, it is unlawful for him to acquire or possess it.
      (4)   Other unclaimed or forfeited property other than contraband that is subject to the provisions of Ohio R.C. 2933.43 and property lawfully seized in relation to a violation of Ohio R.C. 2933.42 shall be disposed of on application to and order of the Municipal Court.
      (5)   This section does not apply to the collection, storage or disposal of abandoned junk motor vehicles.  This section shall not be construed to rescind or restrict the authority of the Department to keep and dispose of lost, abandoned, stolen, seized or forfeited property under any other applicable ordinance.
   (c)    Possession or Conveyance of Contraband Prohibited; When Watercraft, Motor Vehicle or Aircraft Considered Contraband.
      (1)    No person shall possess, conceal, transport, receive, purchase, sell, lease, rent or otherwise transfer any contraband.
      (2)    For purposes of subsection (d) hereof, if a watercraft, motor vehicle, aircraft or other personal property that is not within the scope of the definition of contraband in subsection (a) hereof is used in violation of subsection (c)(1) hereof, the watercraft, motor vehicle, aircraft or personal property is contraband and, if the offense involved in the violation of subsection (c)(1) hereof is a felony and is subject to seizure and forfeiture pursuant to subsection (d) hereof, it is rebuttably presumed that a watercraft, motor vehicle, aircraft or other personal property in or on which contraband is found at the time of seizure has been, is being or is intended to be used in violation of subsection (c)(1) hereof.
   (d)    Seizure of Contraband; Notice; Holding Period; Forfeiture Proceeding; Hearings; Disposition.  With respect to contraband, as defined in this section, all of the procedures set forth in Ohio R.C. 2933.43, to the extent applicable, shall apply to the seizure of contraband; notice to the owner thereof, holding period, forfeiture proceedings, hearings and disposition of such contraband.
   (e)    Law Enforcement Trust Fund.  The City does hereby establish the Law Enforcement Trust Fund in which shall be deposited all proceeds of disposition and sale of property referred to in subsection (b) hereof and contraband disposed of as provided in subsections (c) and (d) hereof which has been lawfully seized and forfeited to the City Police Department pursuant to provisions of Ohio R.C. 2933.42.
   The proceeds distributed and deposited in the Law Enforcement Trust Fund shall be allocated by Council to the Police Department and shall be expended only for the following purposes:
      (1)    To pay the costs of protracted or complex investigation or prosecutions;
      (2)    To provide reasonable technical training or expertise;
      (3)    To provide matching funds to obtain Federal grants to aid law enforcement; or
      (4)    For such other law enforcement purposes as Council determines to be appropriate.
   The Fund shall not be used to meet operating costs of the City that are not related to law enforcement. 
(Ord. 88-56.  Passed 11-14-88.)