May 15, 2019
PD Evidence LLC
Run a Google search on theft from police evidence and you will be shocked. Yesterday’s news of a former Oklahoma mayor arrested for stealing from the police evidence room is unfortunately not as rare as you might think. Whether the motivation is driven by greed, financial problems or the ever expanding opioid crisis, the results are the same. The public trust in law enforcement erodes and community relations suffer.
Perhaps the more shocking news is that these occurrences of theft from police evidence can be dramatically reduced by proper evidence controls, if not eliminated all together. Can a modern police evidence management system directly prevent a rogue governmental employee from abusing their authority? Of course not. Proper evidence controls dictate audits, and audits have both a direct and indirect effect on positive evidence management.
Directly, audits allow law enforcement to discover if an item is missing immediately. Indirectly, the common realization that audits are carried out routinely show a would be offender that the attempt is futile because it will be noticed immediately. Contrast this environment with one where an employee, with access to the evidence room, knows that audits are rarely, if ever, conducted. The idea to steal may become that much more appealing, believing that the theft itself will likely not even be noticed.
Often evidence may just be misplaced, the victim of lack of controls in the evidence management process. A strong audit policy minimizes these mishaps as well.
The task for companies like PD Evidence becomes making audits as streamlined as possible, requiring a minimal amount of time to conduct. The PDEVIDENCE family of evidence and laboratory information management systems allows evidence custodians to select a location and scan every item physically in that location. As quickly as the user can pull the trigger on their wireless bar code scanner, items are added to the audit scan list. Upon completion, PDEVIDENCE will identify three possible scenarios.
First, all items expected were scanned and nothing else.
Second, an item was scanned that should be located in a different place.
Third, an item that should be in that location was not scanned.
“Auditing evidence to ensure compliance with accreditation standards is as critical to our law enforcement agency customers as it is to the successful operation of our forensic laboratory”, said Eric Radnovich, Director of the Cumberland County District Attorney’s Forensic Laboratory (PA).
Radnovich added, “automating this process through the use of modern technology only makes sense by allowing us to increase both the integrity of evidence and the efficiency of our scientists”.
Auditing made simple. Let’s talk about your evidence room.
PDEVIDENCE improves the efficiency, integrity and organization of digital evidence management.
Take a look at the full demo and see for yourself!