A One-Stop Shop Is Not One Size Fits All
One Agency Chooses to Keep Its Original Digital Evidence Management Software Vendor when Upgrading Other Systems
“We used to do it [evidence input] three times – in the initial report, then in the QueTel system, and then the evidence personnel would have to manually put the stuff in and affix a barcode to it. Now it's put in one time, and it's electronically transmitted.” Sgt. Ron Frank, Manages property and evidence for Putnam County Sheriff’s Office
Putnam County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO), Putnam County, Florida
PCSO started looking for a new evidence management module in 2015. They had been using the QueTel (now a part of Omnigo Software) evidence management system since 2001, managing approximately 93,000 items with two full-time evidence personnel. After checking out a new RMS platform in action at another agency, Sgt. Ron Frank urged PCSO to stick with Evidence TraQ.
“We were kind of leaning toward a one-stop shop that offered a module for several different options. I went and viewed that evidence module at different locations,” said Frank, “and I thought the QueTel system that was 14 years old was better than what this other system would allow us, so we decided to maintain QueTel and to purchase their updated version.”
The upgrade added digital evidence management capabilities and eliminated manual data entry, specifically for evidence, because the software communicates with the department’s RMS to automatically upload the information.
Because the software now communicates with their RMS system, it makes evidence input easy for officers and evidence techs alike. The system also provides automated notices that help the team tackle the biggest challenge for any evidence manager – purging outdated evidence that’s no longer needed but still taking up space.
Not only does Omnigo’s Evidence Management solutions enhance PCSO’s ability to maintain chain of custody, but because the software now communicates with their RMS system, it makes evidence input easy for officers and evidence techs alike.
To file evidence, an officer completes the department’s report writing procedure, and the RMS automatically uploads the information to the system. Each item is assigned an individual barcode by the system, and the officer prints the barcode, affixes it to the evidence and then places it in a locker to secure it for intake by an evidence technician.
“That's it, as far as the paperwork goes,” said Frank.
In terms of purging outdated evidence, when Frank took over the evidence warehouse in 2013, the department had about 93,000 items. Today, they have purged about 40% of those items, thanks to the automatic notifications provided by the software.
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