March 25, 2015 Edition

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Sheriff shares security measures

Megan Heyl
Staff Writer

A recent audit on Lawrence County reported an investigation conducted Feb. 19, 2014, concerning evidence, consisting of $12,544 in cash and three guns, that was missing from the Sheriff's Office.

State Police have been unable to determine a suspect and the investigation is ongoing. Sheriff Jeff Yates said he can't comment on the investigation itself and since he wasn't in office at the time of the theft, he doesn't have much insight into what transpired.

However, Yates said that multiple actions have been taken in order to ensure something like this will not happen again.

The new locks only have two keys, which are held by the Lawrence County CID officers Andrew Turner and Jamie White. The two log every item that is added or removed from the room as well as anytime they access the evidence room. Both have to be present in order to access the evidence room.

Yates also said the department has set up a bank account to hold monetary evidence, and no cash will be held in the evidence room.

Other security measures Yates said he would like to implement are a bar code system and a camera system, which he said would both be done as soon as funds become available.

As for the 2014 theft, Yates said he doesn't know how many had access to the evidence room at that time, but that he is taking every precaution to make sure is doesn't happen again.

According to the audit, on April 8, 2014, the Arkansas Public Entities Insurance Cooperative issued a check for $7,855 to Citizens Bank of Batesville for a release of claims for a portion of the missing cash.

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