IMPD: No Criminal Intent In Bisard Blood Handling

Internal Report Cites Lack Of Policies, Procedures

The Indianapolis Department of Public Safety said Friday that its internal investigation found no criminal intent in the transfer of a vial of blood related to a case involving an Indianapolis police officer involved in a crash that killed one person and injured two more.

An investigation was launched after the revelation earlier this year that a vial of blood taken from Officer David Bisard after the August 2010 crash was transferred from a property room refrigerator to an unrefrigerated property room annex.

Read: Bisard Investigation Report

"At the request of Mayor Greg Ballard and the Department of Public Safety, the FBI reviewed this matter, the investigation and its findings," read a statement from DPS. "The FBI concurred that there was no criminal intent on the part of the parties involved and that the transfer resulted from administrative errors."

The FBI declined to launch its own investigation, DPS said.

"This incident shows the continued need to update and modernize IMPD policies, procedures and practices," said Marion County Public Safety Director Frank Straub. "A few simple steps, such as update policies and procedures, management oversight and training, could have prevented this unfortunate error from happening."

Investigators said the vial was kept in refrigerated storage from until November 2011, when it was transferred to a property room, sitting without refrigeration until April 2012. The vial cap and seal were not removed, DPS said.

The report cited "a lack of clear policies and procedures, inadequate supervision and a failure to properly safeguard the … evidence."

"The IMPD Property Room does not have procedures or policies for many of its primary duties and responsibilities. There are no storage or handling protocols for blood evidence. To the extent that policies and procedures exist, they are outdated, poorly constructed and do not provide adequate guidance or protocols for the demands placed on IMPD property room personnel," part of the report's conclusion read. "Direct responsibility for the operation of the IMPD Property Room is placed in the hands of civilian personnel. The IMPD command staff does not provide sufficient oversight of the Property Room."

Bisard faces a reckless homicide charge in a crash in which his police cruiser slammed into a group of motorcycles. A blood test administered about two hours after the crash showed that Bisard had a blood-alcohol content level of 0.19 percent, investigators said.

IMPD admitted in April that a vial of Bisard's blood stored in the IMPD property room was mishandled. Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry said IMPD removed the controversial blood vials from their sealed envelopes, despite a preservation order from a court.

John Kautzman, Bisard's attorney, has asked a judge to block blood test results, citing a chain of custody issues.

Straub is stepping down from his position on Aug. 1. He has said his resignation is unrelated to the Bisard investigation.

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