With cash counters, law enforcement officials are able to deal with significant issues that come with seizing money during raids or arrests. Police and sheriff's offices often use the ability to seize civil assets as a way to stop criminals, particularly terrorists and drug dealers, from using their savings to post bail and escape from the authorities. While there has been some pushback over the use of civil assets as a way to cover for budget cuts in local departments, the concept still has its utility for the time being. Using these machines will help determine what was seized much faster and more accurately than by hand.
Police departments around the country use the civil asset forfeiture, which was created by the U.S. Department of Justice in the 1980s, to stifle criminal activity. The Drug Policy Alliance noted in a report that the situation has changed somewhat due to reforms, but it's incomplete, especially given the reasons that states seize the money in the first place. In many cases, any money recovered by the state can be distributed as it pleases. While a significant number of states are sending forfeiture revenues directly to their general or education funds, the majority allow the police force that seized the money to take a cut of it. Exactly half the nation allows law enforcement to take the full cut. Federal forfeitures, handled by the FBI through equitable sharing, offer 80 percent of the revenue.
Owners of the cash assets can contest the seizure. Depending on the state, the government can prevail if there is clear and convincing evidence, belief beyond a reasonable doubt, preponderance of the evidence, probable cause or some variants thereof that money was to be used in criminal activity.
In California, a spate of budget cuts affected several small towns and their police forces. In response, law enforcement used civil asset forfeiture to close the gap. In Beverly Hills, the amount of money gained from equitable sharing with the DOJ was $2,292,323 in fiscal year 2011. With this much money, cash counters becomes very useful. Their ability to rapidly sort, scan and count bills received by law enforcement help gain an accurate idea on how much revenue will come from the forfeiture, which departments can then budget accordingly.
May 21, 2015