COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho. --- Over the weekend, the Coeur d’Alene Police Department arrested a violent felon at a local motel.
Detectives found drugs, a stolen gun and over $3,000. After a viewer commented on the story and asked “"what happens to the confiscated money after an investigation is over? Does it go to help the community?" KREM 2 decided to answer that women’s question.
According to the Coeur d’Alene Police Department, in some cases where money is seized, it is put back in to the community. However, it is a case by case basis and the police department said these types of cases are not very common.
Currently, that money is now in the possession of the police department, so does that mean they can use it?
"Just because there's a pile of cash, does not mean that the money is ours,” said Detective Jared Reneau of the Coeur d’Alene Police Department.
Cash, like everything else, can be evidence. The cash is documented and then locked away in the department’s evidence room.
It will sit there as the court case it is associated with plays out. Meaning it could be evidence for a few months, to potentially years.
“There's different things that we're legally able to use with it and things that were not able to use it for as well,” said Reneau.
Some of the things that money cannot be used for, include officer pay, meals, or lavish purchases.
The Coeur d’Alene Police Department traditionally puts seized money towards training and equipment.
"We use that training and the equipment to help us take more drugs off the street,” said Reneau.
Officers said they sometimes put that money towards community events.
"Historically, we've used it to put on free movies in the park for the community,” added Reneau.These seizures are not common for police, so it is not like they always have this type of cash just sitting around.
Police told KREM 2, they are very sensitive when it comes to handling seized money from a case. It has to be documented meticulously by at least a few officers or detectives before going into evidence.