TOTAL EVIDENCE MANAGEMENT SOLUTION
February 4, 2022
At Tracker, our larger mission is justice. Our products and services promote and support the equitable delivery of justice through the fundamental integrity of evidence. We serve government agencies and corporate clients who manage evidence as a core business function.
Knowing that the collection and storage of evidence, along with chain of custody procedures, could be called into question at any moment, departments should do everything they can to ensure the integrity of their evidence management. Bearing that in mind, Tracker’s evidence technology equips you with solutions to transform your evidence management operations for long term success.
Evidence management practices require a complex system of critical parts working together in order to thrive. As such, Tracker Products has partnered with the Evidence Management Institute (EMI) to offer a Total Evidence Management Solution. Together, they offer full-spectrum evidence management solutions to empower their clients and help them run sustainable, efficient and effective operations.
As a partnership with a shared vision, they have worked together to create a paradigm shift in evidence management that can help your agency with every aspect of your operations.
It’s not just products or services that evidence custodians want – although they are certainly critical components for every evidence management unit – the evidence community also seems to be hungry for something else… information and connection.
Bearing that in mind, Tracker and EMI worked together to come up with some incredible, FREE resources that serve to educate and connect the evidence management community:
NEW! FREE In-Person 2 Day Evidence Management Training and Certification – Nationwide!
The E-Health Check – a FREE assessment designed to provide clients with a snapshot of their operations compared to key performance indicators for sustainable evidence operations.
The Evidence Management Community Forum – A FB page with nearly 800 evidence management members who discuss everything in the realm of evidence management. Topics include, but are not limited to standards, best practices, technology, challenges, solutions, and success stories.
FREE Evidence Management Training Videos – Training includes 8 hours of online evidence management curriculum, an online exam, and a completion certificate.
The Evidence Show – In each episode, EMI discusses the unique issues that impact evidence managers and custodians and the law enforcement community in general.
A Series of Webinars – Loaded with: Virtual Evidence Unit Tours, EM Best Practices, Tips for Getting the Tools You Need to Improve Operations, and so much more!
Weekly Articles – Topics include, but are not limited to: Best Practices for Audits, Inventories, Packaging, Digital Evidence Storage, Disposition, etc.
Resources – Tracker’s Blogs, Portfolio, Wiki Page, Evidence Management Software Comparison Tools, and EMI’s Standards and Best Practices, Evidence Related Links, and Blogs are LOADED with information.
Full-spectrum Evidence Management Solutions
Like the control gear of a well-oiled machine, automation and technology serve as the centerpiece of an optimal evidence management operation. Tracker is the industry leader in evidence management software for a reason. Their customizable solutions simplify, streamline, and secure physical and digital evidence management.
Effective evidence management requires a system capable of producing an unbreakable chain of custody, including: Tracking evidence movement and transfer, managing inventory control, simplifying the deluge of digital evidence, facilitating communication between investigators and property room personnel, automating tasks and the disposal process, and managing accountability functions like audits and inventories, as well as providing real-time data and analysis.
RELATED: USING YOUR EVIDENCE ROOM DATA AS AN ANALYTICAL TOOL
Couple Tracker’s cutting-edge technology with EMI’s: Evidence Management Training, Consultations, Audits, Inventory Services, Disaster Mitigation Plans, and Policy and Procedure reviews, and you have a 360º, Total Evidence Management Solution.
- One inefficient part slows down the system
- One ineffective part stops the system
- One unsustainable part steals long-term success
- Replacing parts without evaluating the system yields the same antiquated results
- Broken processes impact the integrity of your evidence operations
What Every Evidence Unit Values
The ultimate value of an evidence management system can be measured by reviewing the status of the primary commodities of your evidence management: Time and Space
CAN YOU SAVE ME TIME?
Manual paper processes and archaic or inefficient technology systems can rob your agency of one irreplaceable resource: Time. Quality evidence management systems leverage technology as a force multiplier to decrease wasted time, effort and redundancy, and to increase the amount of time available to sustainably manage other critical evidence tasks. Automated intake, disposition, movement, data entry, accountability, and labeling practices each yield measurable time savings for your agency.
CAN YOU SAVE ME SPACE?
Industry wide, between 50% and 80% of evidence stored by law enforcement is eligible for disposition. Without effective disposition measures in place, the volume of physical evidence stored by your agency can quickly outgrow available storage space. An effective evidence management system can’t build you a new facility, but it can help your agency maximize storage efficiency and significantly reduce storage of evidence no longer needed by the justice system.
Further exacerbating the crowding issue is the confusion over when to dispose of evidence. Shawn Henderson, Executive Director of EMI, said that officers often have a “submit it and forget it” mentality, removing themselves from future contact for the rest of the custody period. Officers aren’t providing input on how and when to dispose of evidence, resulting in evidence lingering on shelves indefinitely, resulting in overcrowding.
RELATED: THE EVIDENCE MANAGEMENT ROLES OF CUSTODIANS AND OFFICERS
“In most evidence rooms across the country, probably 70% of the items stored inside of those rooms could be disposed of,” Shawn said. “When evidence managers are left on their own to make disposal decisions, they often default to keeping items out of an abundance of caution.”
Identifying precisely which measures and structures are needed in your department isn’t a one-size-fits-all process. “We’ve got a lot of agencies using extremely antiquated technology that’s not helping them facilitate the management of evidence,” Shawn said. “The net result of that is evidence rooms are packed to the gills and there’s no room for new evidence.” Such crowded storage rooms contribute to additional problems including lost or stolen evidence, cross-contamination, bacteria growth, and much more.
“Evidence loses value if people don’t trust the chain of custody that supports and surrounds that evidence,” said Shawn. “The only way to build a strong, stable chain of custody is to implement measures, structures and systems that support and increase the level of integrity of evidence and the chain of custody.”
RELATED: WHY IS CHAIN OF CUSTODY TRACKING IMPORTANT?
An effective management system also helps to maximize storage efficiency and significantly reduce the storage of evidence that is no longer needed by the justice system. To address storage and evidence management challenges, Tracker offers an auto-disposition feature.
Without lifting a finger, or even checking the item’s history, the software will send the submitting officer a retention review request to approve the disposal of the item if appropriate or request to keep the item for a specified period of time before the next review.
Through customizable automation and technology, Tracker’s solutions give you invaluable commodities – more time and more space. The automated data entry, labeling, intake, movement, and disposition practices each yield measurable time savings for your agency.
“We don’t look at our software or solutions in silos, as far as just checking off a box or accomplishing an individual task,” said Max Helmer, director of marketing at Tracker Products and former combat medic in the Army National Guard. “We look at it from a 360° perspective to make everything more efficient and effective.”
Tracker Products has partnered with the Evidence Management Institute to help agencies build a roadmap to creating sustainable, efficient and effective evidence operations. They take a hands-on, multilayered approach to changing the culture of evidence management through education; demonstrating how departments are doing it right, and where there are opportunities for improvement.
RELATED: THE POWER OF AUTOMATING EVIDENCE DISPOSITION
As a first step in evaluating your evidence operations, Tracker Products and EMI offer a FREE E-Health Check. “It’s not a big investment in time,” Max said, “and it gives departments multiple key performance indicators as to how their agency is doing.” Evidence Custodians can then leverage that data with the command staff, and begin a dialog about what is needed to improve the evidence management unit’s effectiveness.
In addition to Tracker’s software and EMI’s training and consulting efforts, they are helping evidence custodians connect through a Facebook group they created, that now has over 700 members, called The Evidence Management Community Forum. It’s a great place to ask questions, give advice, and simply connect with your peers.
Shawn said, “Our primary goal is to get evidence custodians and evidence managers across the United States connected, in order to build a sense of community and have a place where they can get questions answered. It really helps to see how things are done differently in different regions around the country.”
But, the Tracker and EMI contribution doesn’t stop there. They offer FREE evidence management training videos, host The Evidence Show, record Webinars, and post weekly articles to: answer the most FAQ’s, offer leadership tips, and address the biggest challenges that affect the evidence community today.
RELATED: LEADERSHIP WITHOUT AUTHORITY
“To us, we’re not just offering software and classes. There are real, live people on the other end of this, whether it’s stakeholders within the law enforcement community or victims of heinous crimes,” Max said. “This all really matters. And it’s vitally important that we ALL get it right.”
Tracker Products and The Evidence Management Institute want to give you something productive to think about during this time of uncertainty… a series of free evidence management training and panel discussions. Watch and comment on the webinars here. Or – to get in on the discussion, with over 700 evidence custodians – join the Evidence Management Community Forum on Facebook.