Asset Forfeiture

WHEREAS, the citizens of the United States of America continue to be victimized by the devastation brought about by illicit drug trafficking; and WHEREAS, the primary purpose of forfeiture is law enforcement; and WHEREAS, the focus of forfeiture is the removal of the financial incentive to commit drug trafficking offenses through the effective and fair application of drug forfeiture laws by confiscating the instrumentalities of and proceeds earned from drug trafficking; and WHEREAS, seized property is shared with state and local law enforcement agencies which contribute to the underlying criminal investigations, thereby not only depriving criminals of their illicit gains, but obligating the return of the assets or proceeds therefrom to law enforcement to employ in the fight against crime thereby strengthening investigations and prosecutions; and WHEREAS, several states have unilaterally enacted legislation restricting the utilization of federal forfeiture of assets seized by state officers; and WHEREAS, several states have mandated that the forfeited proceeds realized from state forfeiture actions be dedicated to purposes other than law enforcement; now, therefore, be it RESOLVED, that the International Association of Chiefs of Policy duly assembled at its 108th Annual Conference in Toronto, Canada, strongly urges that state and local law enforcement agencies oppose state legislative limitations on the federal equitable sharing program; and be it FURTHER RESOLVED, that the International Association of Chiefs of Police encourages state and local law enforcement agencies to participate in the federal forfeiture and equitable sharing program consistent with their respective state legislation; and be it FURTHER RESOLVED, that the International Association of Chiefs of Police, in an effort to ensure honesty, integrity and accountability in the asset forfeiture program, reaffirms that all state and local law enforcement agencies should adopt and implement the National Code of Professional Conduct for Asset Forfeiture.