Edmond officers have seized more than $1 million from various offenders — mostly drug-related cash — during the past three years.
Police spokeswoman Jenny Monroe said the main crime that results in cash seizures is a drug offense whether it be from a search warrant, an arrest at a house or a traffic stop where drugs and cash are found inside the vehicle or on the suspect.
Officers seized $783,130 in 2011, $40,714 in 2012 and $188,601 in 2013, Monroe said. Seizures in 2011 included an incident in which a man arrested along Interstate 35 was sitting with a box of cash, Monroe said.
Recently, the Edmond Police Department used $180,000 in seized cash to pay for a new incident command trailer, saving taxpayer dollars. It will be used if needed for a variety of incidents including responding to SWAT team scenarios and natural disasters such as tornadoes or wildfires.
The command trailer is the biggest purchase so far, Monroe said.
“We use that money to buy things we normally could not buy,” she said. “It’s nice to be able to take something from a bad situation and use it for good in our community.”
Before it can be spent, the money has to go through proper channels.
After the cash is brought to the station, a detective takes that money to the Oklahoma County District Attorney’s Office along with paperwork, Monroe said. A civil case is filed separately from the criminal case and then it goes through the civil side of the court system.
Monroe said there is an 80/20 split between the arresting agency and the DA’s office. If the burden of proof is not met in the civil case the money is returned to the defendant. The money collected is required to go into an asset forfeiture fund and can accumulate there, Monroe said.
Money spent is audited by the federal government and cannot be spent on salaries and city programs that are outside of the Police Department including the ongoing construction of the Public Safety Center, Monroe said. Plans have not been finalized on how to spend the remaining cash, Monroe said.
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