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(a) Property which has been lost, abandoned, stolen, or lawfully seized or forfeited, and that is in the custody of the Department of Police Operations, shall be safely kept pending the time it is no longer needed as evidence and shall be disposed of pursuant to this section.
(b) The Department of Police Operations 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.
(c) A person loses any right he may have to possession of property:
(1) That was the subject, or was used in a conspiracy of attempt to commit, or in the commission of an offense other than a traffic offense, and such person is a conspirator, accomplice or offender with respect to the offense.
(2) 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.
(d) Unclaimed and forfeited property in the custody of the Department of Police Operations shall be disposed of on application to and order of any court of record that has territorial jurisdiction over the political subdivision in which the law enforcement agency has jurisdiction to engage in law enforcement activities as follows:
(1) Drugs shall be destroyed, or shall 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 retained by the Department of Police Operations for that purpose. The donation of firearms to other law enforcement agencies shall be authorized by the Director of the Department of Police Operations with the approval of the Director of Safety. All other firearms shall be destroyed.
(3) Obscene materials shall be destroyed.
(4) Beer, intoxicating liquor, or alcohol seized from a person who is not the holder of a permit issued under Ohio R.C. Chapters 4301 and 4303 or is an offender, and forfeited to the State under Ohio R.C. 4301.45 or 4301.53 shall be sold by the Department of Liquor Control, if the Department determines that the beer, intoxicating liquor or alcohol is fit for sale. If any tax imposed under Ohio R.C. Title XLIII has not been paid in relation to the beer, intoxicating liquor or alcohol, the proceeds of the sale shall first be used to pay the tax. All money collected under this section shall be paid into the State Treasury. Any such beer, intoxicating liquor or alcohol that the Department determines to be unfit for sale shall be destroyed.
(5) Other unclaimed or forfeited property may be sold at public auction or utilized by the City where such usage would be proper under the circumstances. The Chief of Police shall be responsible for determining such utilization consistent with administrative procedures established by the Mayor.
(e) The proceeds from property disposed of pursuant to this section shall be placed in the General Fund of the City.
(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 or a Municipal law enforcement agency to keep and dispose of lost, abandoned, stolen, seized or forfeited property under an ordinance of the Municipal Corporation.
(Ord. 469-80. Passed 7-1-80; Ord. 104-94. Passed 3-14-94.)