501.24  DISPOSITION OF PROPERTY HELD BY POLICE DEPARTMENT.
   (a)   (1)   Any property, other than contraband that is subject to the provisions of Ohio R.C. 2913.34 or Ohio R.C. 2933.43, other than property that is subject to Ohio R.C. 3719.141, other than property forfeited under Ohio R.C. 2923.44 to 2923.47 or Ohio R.C. 2925.41 to 2925.45, and other than a vehicle that is criminally forfeited under an order issued under Ohio R.C. 4503.233 or Ohio R.C. 4503.234 and that is to be disposed of under Ohio R.C. 4503.234, other than property that has been lawfully seized under Ohio R.C. 2933.71 to 2933.75 in relation to a medicaid fraud offense, and other than property that has been lawfully seized in relation to a violation of Ohio R.C. 2923.32, 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 safely pending the time it no longer is needed as evidence, and shall be disposed of pursuant to this section. The Police Department shall adopt a written internal control policy that addresses the keeping of detailed records as to the amount of property taken in by the Police Department, that addresses the Police Department’s disposition of the property under this section, that provides for the keeping of detailed records of the disposition of the property, and that provides for the keeping of detailed financial records of the amount and disposition of any proceeds of a sale of the property under division (d)(8) of this section and of the general types of expenditures made out of the proceeds retained by the Police Department and the specific amount expended on each general type of expenditure. The policy shall not provide for or permit the identification of any specific expenditure that is made in an ongoing investigation. The policy is a public record open for inspection under Ohio R.C. 149.43.
      (2)   A.   1.   The Police Department, having any lost, abandoned, stolen, seized or forfeited property as described in division (a)(1) of this section, in its custody, shall comply with its written internal control policy adopted under that division relative to the property. The Police Department having any such property in its custody, except for property to be disposed of under division (d)(4) of this section, shall maintain an accurate record, in accordance with its written internal control policy, of each item of the property. The record shall include the date on which each item of property came into the Police Department’s custody, the manner in which it was disposed of, the date of its disposition, the name of the person who received the property if it was not destroyed, and all other information required by the Police Department’s written internal control policy; however, the record shall not identify or enable the identification of the individual officer who seized any item of property. The record of any property that no longer is needed as evidence, and all financial records of the amount and disposition of any proceeds of a sale under division (d)(8) of this section, and of the general types of expenditures made out of the proceeds retained by the Police Department and the specific amount of each general type of expenditure, shall be open to public inspection during the Police Department’s regular business hours.
            2.   The Police Department, having during any calendar year any seized or forfeited property as described in division (a)(1) of this section in its custody, shall prepare a report covering the calendar year that cumulates all of the information contained in all of the records kept by the Police Department pursuant to this subsection for that calendar year, and shall send a copy of the cumulative report, no later than March 1 in the calendar year following the calendar year covered by the report, to the Ohio Attorney General. Each report received by the Attorney General is a public record open for inspection under Ohio R.C. 149.43.
         B.   The Police Department, having received in any calendar year any proceeds of a sale under division (d)(8) of this section, shall prepare a report covering the calendar year that cumulates all of the information contained in all of the public financial records kept by the Police Department pursuant to division (d)(2)A. of this section for that calendar year, and shall send a copy of the cumulative report, no later than March 1 in the calendar year following the calendar year covered by the report, to the Attorney General. Each report received by the Attorney General is a public record open for inspection under Ohio R.C. 149.43.
   (b)   The Police Department, having property in its possession that is required to be disposed of pursuant to this section, shall make a reasonable effort to locate the persons entitled to possession of the property in its custody, to notify them of when and where it may be claimed and to return the property to them at the earliest possible time. In the absence of evidence identifying persons entitled to possession, 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.
   (c)   A person loses any right he or she may have to the possession, or the possession and ownership, of property if any of the following applies:
      (1)   The property was the subject of, or was used in a conspiracy or attempt to commit, or in the commission of, an offense other than a traffic offense, and the person is a conspirator, accomplice or offender with respect to the offense.
      (2)   A court determines that the property should be forfeited because, in light of the nature of the property or the circumstances of the person, it is unlawful for him or her to acquire or possess the property.
   (d)   Unclaimed or forfeited property in the custody of the Police Department, other than contraband that is subject to the provisions of Ohio R.C. 2913.34 or Ohio R.C. 2933.43, other than property forfeited under Ohio R.C. 2923.44 to 2923.47 or Ohio R.C. 2925.41 to 2925.45, and other than property that has been lawfully seized in relation to a violation of Ohio R.C. 2923.32, shall be disposed of on application to and order of any court of record that has territorial jurisdiction over the Municipality, as follows:
      (1)   Drugs shall be disposed of pursuant to Ohio R.C. 3719.11 or be placed in the custody of the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States for disposal or use for medical or scientific purposes under applicable Federal law.
      (2)   Firearms and dangerous ordnance suitable for police work may be given to a law enforcement agency for that purpose. Firearms suitable for sporting use, or as museum pieces or collectors’ items, may be sold at public auction pursuant to division (d)(8) of this section. Other firearms and dangerous ordnance shall be destroyed by the Police Department or shall be sent to the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation for destruction by the Bureau.
      (3)   Obscene materials shall be destroyed.
      (4)   Except as otherwise provided in this division (d)(4), beer or intoxicating liquor seized by a law enforcement agency shall be destroyed. Intoxicating liquor seized by the investigative unit in the Department of Public Safety may be distributed for training relating to law enforcement activities. Pursuant to rules the Department adopts in accordance with Ohio R.C. Chapter 119, the Department shall provide for the distribution of seized intoxicating liquor that is not distributed for training relating to its law enforcement activities, to state or local law enforcement agencies, upon their request, for training related to their law enforcement activities.
      (5)   Money received by an inmate of a correctional institution from an unauthorized source or in an unauthorized manner shall be returned to the sender, if known, or deposited in the inmates’ industrial and entertainment fund if the sender is not known.
      (6)   Vehicles and vehicle parts forfeited under Ohio R.C. 4549.61 to 4549.63 may be given to a law enforcement agency for use in the performance of its duties. Those parts may be incorporated into any other official vehicle. Parts that do not bear vehicle identification numbers or derivatives thereof may be sold or disposed of as provided by rules of the Ohio Director of Public Safety. Parts from which a vehicle identification number or derivative thereof has been removed, defaced, covered, altered or destroyed and that are not suitable for police work or incorporation into an official vehicle shall be destroyed and sold as junk or scrap.
      (7)   A.   Computers, computer networks, computer systems and computer software suitable for police work may be given to a law enforcement agency for that purpose. Other computers, computer networks, computer systems and computer software shall be disposed of pursuant to division (d)(8) of this section.
         B.   As used in this section, the terms "computers," "computer networks," "computer systems" and "computer software" have the same meanings as in Ohio R.C. 2913.01.
      (8)   Other unclaimed or forfeited property, with the approval of the court, may be used by the Police Department.  If the other unclaimed or forfeited property is not used by the Police Department, it may be sold, without appraisal, at a public auction to the highest bidder for cash or, in the case of other unclaimed or forfeited moneys, disposed of in another manner that the court considers proper in the circumstances.
   (e)   (1)   If the property was in the possession of the law enforcement agency in relation to a delinquent child proceeding in a juvenile court, 10% of the proceeds from the property disposed of pursuant to this section shall be applied to one or more alcohol and drug addiction treatment programs that are certified by the Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services under Ohio R.C. 3793.06 and that are specified by the court in its order issued under division (d) of this section.  A juvenile court shall not specify an alcohol or drug addiction treatment program in the order unless the program is a certified alcohol or drug addiction treatment program and, except as provided in division (e)(1) of this section, unless the program is located in the county in which the court that issues the orders is located or in a contiguous county. If no certified alcohol or drug treatment program is located in any of those counties, the juvenile court may specify in the order a certified alcohol and drug treatment program located anywhere within this State. The remaining 90% of the proceed shall be applied as provided in division (e)(2) of this section.  If the property was in the possession of the law enforcement agency other than in relation to a delinquent child proceeding in a juvenile court, all of the proceeds from the property disposed of pursuant to this section shall be applied as provided in division (e)(2) of this section.
      (2)   Except as provided in divisions (d)(4) and (d)(5) of this section and Ohio R.C. 2933.41(E)(2), and after compliance with division (e)(1) of this section when that division is applicable, the proceeds from property disposed of pursuant to this section shall be placed in the general fund.
   (f)   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 Police Department to keep and dispose of lost, abandoned, stolen, seized or forfeited property under any other applicable ordinance of the Municipality or under Ohio R.C. 737.29 to 737.33, provided that when the Municipality, after having received notice as provided in Ohio R.C. 2933.41(E)(2), disposes of property under an ordinance, it shall pay 25% of the proceeds from any sale or auction to the Citizens’ Reward Program as provided in Ohio R.C. 2933.41(E)(2).
   (g)   For purposes of this section, "law enforcement agency" includes correctional institutions, and "citizens’ reward program" has the same meaning as in Ohio R.C. 9.92.
(ORC 2933.41)