A common problem for public safety property and evidence rooms is running out of space. Evidence inventory is growing rapidly, with thousands of items added each year which facilities are often required to retain for several decades. Many property and evidence rooms quickly fill with no room to store incoming evidence. Automated evidence storage uses overhead vertical space to store evidence.
Another problem law enforcement agencies often face is protecting the chain of custody inside the evidence room. If sufficient security measures are not in place to protect items stored in the evidence room, particularly high-risk items such as narcotics and weapons. In that case, there is a higher risk of missing evidence, which could delay justice and damage the department’s reputation. Automated evidence storage systems provide a solution to both of these problems.
These cutting-edge automated evidence storage systems optimize vertical space in a facility to store evidence in a smaller footprint efficiently, and advanced access control features ensure the security of stored evidence.
Read on to learn about two types of automated evidence storage and the benefits of automated evidence storage systems. You can also check out our other public safety storage solutions here.
A more common type of automated evidence storage system is the vertical storage carousel. This automated storage and retrieval system consists of revolving storage shelves within an enclosed unit. The storage unit typically extends up to the ceiling, utilizing often unused overhead space.
Accessing evidence stored in automated vertical carousels is simple. At the push of a button, the shelves rotate to bring the needed evidence to an ergonomic work counter for easy retrieval. There is also a locking door to restrict access to the stored evidence. Check out more images of vertical storage carousels here.
Automated Evidence Shelving Units
Another innovative evidence storage solution is the automated shelving unit. Automated evidence shelving units store evidence in individual trays on shelves within an enclosed storage unit. Authorized personnel can store and retrieve evidence at an ergonomic access station, as the requested tray is automatically retrieved and brought to the station.
Like the vertical storage carousel, the automated evidence shelving unit can extend to the facility’s ceiling. It is scalable, modular, and can be designed to fit your facility. The automated shelving units also have access control software to restrict access to stored evidence. This cutting-edge, energy-efficient storage solution is an excellent investment for new construction. See budget pricing for automated evidence storage here.
Both the vertical storage carousels and the automated shelving units are highly space-efficient. The storage units occupy a limited storage footprint and maximize vertical storage space, which is typically underutilized. This makes them an excellent solution for property and evidence facilities with high ceilings. These automated evidence storage systems can provide up to 80% floor space savings compared to traditional shelving units.
Accommodate Different Types of Evidence
Vertical evidence storage carousels and automated shelving units are perfect for storing materials of a consistent size, such as evidence envelopes and boxes, which can comprise up to 80% of stored evidence. However, they can also accommodate a variety of evidence materials of different sizes.
Both automated evidence storage systems efficiently accommodate items of various sizes. For example, vertical storage carousels can be configured with different shelves, drawers, and bins to meet your specific evidence storage needs, including small items like jewelry and money, computers and other electronics, and firearms of all sizes.
In addition, these automated evidence storage systems are available with temperature-controlled options to store biological material safely and other sensitive evidence.
Automated evidence storage systems also provide optimal security for stored evidence, effectively protecting the chain of custody.
Vertical carousels come equipped with locking doors and password access to restrict unauthorized access to stored evidence. These systems also easily integrate with your software to keep track of the location and movements of evidence inventory. Automated evidence shelving units also integrate with software to keep track of inventory and control individual access to stored evidence.
Along with this, the enclosed nature of both automated storage units protects stored evidence from the risk of damage from rodents, insects, water, etc.
Enable Efficient Retrieval
Both automated evidence storage systems enable quick and precise retrieval of stored evidence, saving valuable time when evidence is needed on short notice. They also increase the safety of personnel storing and retrieving evidence.
In both units, the needed evidence is brought directly to the user at an ergonomic station. Unlike alternatives like high-density pallet racks and other shelving systems, personnel do not need to climb ladders or bend down to reach stored evidence. No forklifts or material handling equipment is required to store or retrieve evidence. These solutions also eliminate the time and energy spent walking up and down aisles to search for stored items.
With automated evidence storage systems, personnel can quickly and accurately retrieve needed evidence without the risk of injury or the inability to find a misplaced item. In conjunction with the benefits of space savings, storage flexibility, and security, this efficiency makes automated evidence storage systems an excellent solution for property and evidence storage.
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Contact Us for Automated Evidence Storage
Southwest Solutions Group® provides design and installation services for automated evidence storage systems, including vertical storage carousels and automated shelving units. We will even provide a free consultation to determine your facility’s exact storage needs before the design process begins. To learn more or speak with a representative in your area, call us at (800) 803-1083 or send us a message today.
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