The Property/Evidence Unit’s major responsibilities are to:
Receive all incoming property
Store it properly
Preserve its condition
Maintain it securely
Lawfully release or dispose of it
Maintain written and computer documentation of the entire process that is sufficiently accurate and complete to satisfy any court which has reason to examine the process.
The ultimate goal for the Property/Evidence Unit is the appropriate disposition of property, whether in compliance with court order, through release to its rightful owner, or through other legal means such as destruction, diversion or donation. The Property/Evidence Unit researches the disposition of cases, then sends the appropriate form to the investigating officer and/or State Attorney for permission to dispose of property.
Certain items of evidence require additional security precautions because of its very nature. Currency, firearms, jewelry, and narcotics are maintained in separate locked rooms within the confines of the main property room. All other property is maintained in the main property room.
Hours of operation for the Property/Evidence Room are Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm, excluding holidays.
For answers to most commonly asked questions, click the link below to access the document. You may also call the Property & Evidence Division at 863-291-5724.
Property & Evidence FAQ
Where do I pick up my property?
We are located on the first floor of the Winter Haven Police Department.
When can I pick up my property?
We are open between the hours of 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. To expedite the return process, please call ahead at 863-291-5724.
What do I need to retrieve my property?
If your property can be returned to you, you must have:
a. WHPD case number or b. Court case number c. Picture identification (State Driver’s License, State ID card, Passport or US Armed Forces ID card) d. An original “Return of Property” Court Order (if applicable) Assuming your court case is closed, the arresting or impounding officer must sign a Property Receipt Form WHPD-05 (07-06).
You can leave a message for the arresting or impounding officer by contacting the Polk County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch at 863-401-2256.
Can a friend or relative pick up my property?
They must have a notarized letter of Power of Attorney, authorizing them to pick up your property and any Court Orders if necessary. In this case, the Court Order should indicate the Power of Attorney’s name.
How long before I can pick up my property?
You have sixty (60) days after the completion of your court case.
Where do I obtain a court order?
You need to go to the Clerk of the Court and file a “Motion for the Return of Property.”
My vehicle was placed on hold and I want to know when it is going to be released.
If the vehicle is placed on hold due to an investigation, you need to contact the investigator assigned to the investigation for the release or any questions regarding the vehicle.
What information do I need to pick up my vehicle from a contracted tow company?
You need to provide proof of ownership by presentation of a title or registration. The vehicle can only be released to the person whose name appears on the title or registration certificate as the registered owner of the vehicle.