Blog

« All Articles

How We Go Green: Paperless Evidence Tracking

November 9, 2015

Organizations, businesses, and institutions across the nation are going green. Law enforcement agencies are no exception—police departments, in particular, are finding innovative ways to become more energy efficient, such as switching to battery-operated freeway flares or even upgrading their vehicles to hybrid models. While much environmentally friendly emphasis falls to more efficient law enforcement gadgetry, most organizations are also wasting a very basic resource: paper. Tracker Products’ paperless evidence management systems can help combat this ecological dilemma. Our SAFE (Shared Archive For Evidence) software makes it easy to store, access, interpret, and investigate important case information using computers and mobile devices. In the following blog, we explain why you should go paperless and how Tracker Products can help.

Paper Waste By the Numbers

Forest Ethics, a conservationist organization, published a piece entitled “The Facts – Paper Consumption and Its Impacts.” The report highlights the following facts:

Similarly, The World Counts (a site to raise awareness about preservation issues) explains: “42 percent of all global wood harvest is used to make paper….[paper] accounts for…33 percent of municipal waste…[and] 324 liters of water is used to make 1 kilogram of paper.”

Paper Use in Police Departments

Excessive paper usage is an undeniable environmental issue in every industry, but especially in document-heavy fields like law enforcement. In his Police magazine article, “Saving Green by Going Green,” Ronnie Garrett details the various ways agencies can become more sustainable, including “saving trees.” He provides an example: “The Hammonton (N.J.) Police Department, like many departments across the country, had a paper problem.” The HPD had some unfortunate dispatch habits—it printed out “every national and local broadcast message” from the “National Crime Information Center (NCIC)” on a separate piece of paper. Garrett explains the environmental and financial cost of this monumental waste: “over the course of a year, this amounted to approximately 90,000 sheets of paper (18 cases at a cost of $595) and nine toner cartridges (a cost of $990).”

These stunning statistics paint only a partial picture of the average police department’s paper waste. Police One magazine emphasizes the environmental impact of evidence: “the ‘old way’ of managing evidence is almost always paper-based, and starts when an officer collects a piece of evidence at a crime scene.” After manually tagging and logging it, the offer must attach “a handwritten evidence report…with a copy attached to the case report.” This outdated process squanders time, effort, and paper.

A SAFE Solution

SAFE is an evidence management software system that allows you to:

SAFE does all of this while eliminating the need for paper tags, logs, reports, notes, copies, or files. In this way, SAFE allows users to make evidence management both paperless and more productive.

Are You Ready to Go Green?

If you need a more environmentally friendly, efficient, effective evidence management system, look no further than SAFE. Contact us today to learn more or sign up for a free trial of our paperless product.