Rating your Evidence Management System?
July 3, 2019
We live in a world full of ratings. Thanks to technology and the Internet, people are able to rate every type of product, service, or entity, based on their personal experience. Whether we realize it or not, we have all been impacted or contributed to these ratings in one form or another.
Think about your own daily life. You drive up to your favorite fast-food restaurant and on the printed receipt you have an option to take their survey rating customer service for a free menu item or the chance to win a $100 gift card. You jump on the internet to buy furniture on amazon.com, but before you confirm your Sofa purchase, you check it’s 5-star rating based on the 800 other user reviews. A comparable example in the world of software is the Gartner owned website Capterra.com which includes reviews for our evidence management software SAFE. When it comes down to it, ratings matter because they help evaluate quality and/or effectiveness.
So why is it important for Law Enforcement to evaluate and rate their Evidence Management System?
Law Enforcement understands that Evidence Management is a critical component to ensure due process of the law for criminal offenses and ensuring the safety of the people within their community. Those tasked with handling evidence have a responsibility to ensure proper chain of custody and handling of both physical and digital evidence. This allows handlers to maintain the integrity of the evidence without contamination or compromise. Therefore, rating the EMS in place for your agency is critical to understanding the current state of your property room and areas that need improvement.
Unlike the examples above – that rely on one’s personal experience in order to make a rating – there needs to be an understanding of the criterion or standards used for evaluation of Evidence Management practices within the industry. Often, there are already some “best practices” established.
Webster defines Best Practices as, “A procedure that has been shown by research and experience to produce optimal results and that is established or proposed as a standard suitable for widespread adoption.”
Understanding and adopting a set of standards and Best Practices for Evidence Management is one of the reasons why the “Evidence Management Institute” was established. EMI’s Mission is “to engineer a change in law enforcement culture with respect to property and evidence management, to ensure justice for all stakeholders in the process.” By providing education on these Standards and Best Practices through training and consultations, “agencies can build a sustainable baseline for your evidence management operations.”
These resources will help agencies to assess the current state of their Property & Evidence rooms, and make sure that the highest standard possible is upheld moving forward!
For more information about EMI, visit www.evidencemanagement.com