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New evidence storage facility for Cascade County Sheriff's Office

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Posted at 6:04 PM, Mar 13, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-14 12:28:22-04

GREAT FALLS — The Cascade County Sheriff’s Office recently received $1.5 million in ARPA funding to construct a new and larger evidence storage facility.

“This has been a growing need up at the sheriff's department. They are literally out of space for evidence, storage and processing,” says Cascade County Commissioner Joe Briggs. “This gives us an opportunity to use the ARPA funding from Congress under the lost revenue rules to build a new evidence storage and processing facility for the sheriff's department,” Briggs continued.

For Lieutenant Jon Kadner, who’s been processing evidence for the past decade, the upgrade comes at a welcome time.

“This is going to be huge. We're going to obviously have more room to store evidence, easier to find evidence that's better organized and in better shelving units, a bigger area,” says Kadner. “We're going to have the ability to have there's going to be vehicle bays inside this facility that we're going to be able to process vehicles so we can get out of this inclement weather.”

Deputies have recently had to process vehicular evidence outdoors in sub-zero temperatures.

Due to several large seizures including couches and stoves the evidence room has quickly filled. State law says that any piece of evidence related to a homicide case may not be disposed of for 75 years. As for non-homicide related evidence the Sherif’s office is scrambling to make any sort of room available.

“What we work hard with right now is the cases that have been adjudicated. We are able to get that evidence approved for destruction or release,” says Lt. Kadner. “That's the goal right now is to get rid of as much evidence as we can, which will free up some of that space. But the problem is you take in more evidence then you can get rid of over time.”

The evidence storage facility is currently slated to be completed towards the end of 2023. It will be constructed on the southwest corner of the sheriff’s property.

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