When it comes to evidence room storage, there is a lot of stuff to plan for – weapons, stolen property, narcotics, money, biological evidence, and more. The value of this evidence diminishes if it is not properly stored and tracked.
Here are six tips for planning Evidence Room storage:
- Conduct site visits to other police agencies, and learn from their experiences – see what others with similar situations are doing and ask how it’s working for them. A lot can be learned from the successes and failures of others.
- Place evidence lockers so they can be conveniently accessed from within the Report Writing Room – typically evidence is tagged and packaged in a Report Writing Room, so it is beneficial for the evidence lockers to be in there, too.
- Build “pass through” lockers into the common wall between the Report Writing Room and the Property Room– this helps protect the chain of custody of the evidence.
- Avoid standard lockers that have simple “gravity” locks – these types of lockers can be breached, making it easier for the evidence to be tampered with.
- Vary the size of openings within the evidence lockers – evidence, like most stuff, comes in all shapes and sizes so it is important to have lockers with a variety of compartment sizes.
- Specify a woven wire gate on the property room side of the locker – this improves visibility to see if anything is in the lockers.
This information is based on the article, “Evidence Depository Lockers” by Officer Steve Berdrow of the Burbank Police Department. The article can be found in “The Evidence Log”, a quarterly publication of the IAPE. Jason Konz, from Spacesaver, originally blogged about this topic on their Storage Solved blog, you can read his full post here.
For more information on Evidence Storage check out Spacesaver’s Public Safety Storage Solutions site.