Evidence Technician & Crime Scene Investigator, Anne Marie Schuetski
1). Full Name, Department you work for, How long at Department, Number of officers, official title.
Anne Marie Schuetski, Eagan Police Department, 3.5 years, 77 officers, Evidence Technician & Crime Scene Investigator
2). Who is in the evidence department with you?
I am the sole Evidence Technician here; my back-up is our Investigative Specialist Bryan Hughes (who is also on our Crime Scene Team which is overseen by me). I report to our Emergency Services Manager Jeremy Klein and our Administrative Lieutenant Nate Tennessen.
2). What is your involvement with MAPET?
I am one of the two LEGAL AFFAIRS committee chair members. I wanted to be on this committee so that MAPET members could have receive accurate, timely information regarding any new evidence-related statutes, and in turn we could (hopefully) provide an easy resource for legislators to consult prior to passing any new laws. I may have been too ambitious in these goals, but I like to aim high!
3). What are some of your favorite evidence technician/property room manager tasks?
I really enjoy specialty deep-dive projects! Most recently I did a major gun purge – we had been holding onto mental health/suicidal firearms for over ten years without any plan for what to do with them. I worked with my Lieutenant and my back-up to research all those cases, find current addresses for the owners, draft an appropriately-worded letter (it included the phrase “we regret to conjure up memories of a difficult time from the past”) and managed to get rid of firearms for over 50 cases between my latest gun disposal and owners who did respond to my letters. I have so much more room!
4). What is the most unique/weird item currently in your Property room?
My most regrettable item is a giant roll of carpet from a (solved) homicide 40+ years ago. If we knew then what we know now, we would’ve cut out the areas necessary instead of removing the carpet from the entire room. I also have a dead cat in my freezer. I recently sent to auction 100 silver bars that were left behind in a Costco shopping cart (and Costco does not sell them) that were never claimed – how could you not realize you misplaced your silver bars? And who walks around with silver bars anyways?!?
5). What is currently your biggest challenge?
Keeping up with disposals! I also lead our Crime Scene Team, so I can be sent out to scenes at any time plus I organize our trainings, budget, etc. It’s a significantly variable workload, so when I have some slow time is when I purge – but if I get lazy about it, it really starts to back up.
6). Recent victory in your property room?
Getting my back-up! For three years it was just me (and it still kind of is) but when 30% of your time is spent out of the office on crime scene calls, doing runs to/from the BCA, at our secondary long-term storage site, etc – it was very disruptive to our staff and members of the public who just assumed that someone would be reachable at any time. For a long time my administration wanted to push the agenda of “we should be teaching members of the public to make appointments” and while I hypothetically agree with that resolve, it’s not how it works in real life – most of the people who are trying to get property back from me don’t have phones, internet, reliable transportation or the foresight to make and keep appointments … and while I can be stringent about “appointment times” with these people, it’s just easier for everyone (including myself) if I can get their 4 dirty duffel bags full of used clothing out of my property room when they show up unannounced. I couldn’t be happier to have a reliable, competent back-up who can pitch in when I’m out of the office or in a meeting.
7). What advice would you give to new techs in the field?
UTILIZE MAPET AS A RESOURCE!! I have asked one million questions of this group before we formalized into what we are today, and gotten so much great advice. I’m happy to share whatever I know in turn.