When the Wisconsin State Crime Laboratory in Madison moved into 50,000 renovated square feet in a 40-year old building recently, they more than doubled their space with High-Density Movable Shelving. They needed to condense crime lab evidence from multiple locations into one, and move archival records stored off-site into the new location.
The firearms room was the biggest challenge, according to Crime Lab Program Assistant Supervisor, because the space designated for the Lab’s extensive weapon and gun collection was smaller than before. “But then a Spacesaver a high-density movable shelving representative walked into my life and showed us how high-density movable shelving could really condense our storage and maximize the capacity of the space,” she said. “We ended up with three high-density movable shelving systems, one each for the archives, firearms, and evidence. The forensic scientist firearms/tool-marks examiner said the problem in the firearms room was accommodating the wide variety of designs and dimensions of the 1,500 handguns and 1,000-plus long guns that he uses for parts, comparisons, training, and occasionally, exemplars in court. With no two alike, standard pistol cradles would not work. “I needed to be able to store everything from 3-inch Derringers to 45-inch shotguns,” he said. “The high-density movable shelving has worked well. The benefits are extraordinary in terms of maximizing the space. With everything now contained in one room, security is also improved. I can lock it up.” he added.
A high-density movable shelving system, customized with wall pegs for the handguns, plus high-density movable weapons racks for the long guns, was the solution. “Storing handguns on a rod up the muzzle is a good way to view them, organize them and get a lot of them up in a square-foot area,” he said. Pegboard walls accommodate odd-sized weapons. Ammunition is stored elsewhere on heavy-duty 4-post shelving with nine 1/4-inch shelves matched to the box sizes.
High Density movable shelving quadruples evidence storage spaceA powered push button high density movable shelving system not only condenses crime lab evidence into one central area, but also quadrupled the space for evidence storage. The push button operation assures smooth starts and stops, so evidence is not dislodged. To optimize space, shelves were sized to fit the plastic totes used for case evidence. Barcodes record locations on the shelves and help the department track custody. The evidence specialists store all types of evidence — each piece hermetically sealed in boxes, bags, paint cans, plastic, etc. — including large items like tires and fenders. “Before, everything was packed on static shelving, if you wanted something in the back, you had to move all the things in front,” said the Evidence Specialist. “Now with high density movable shelving, everything’s in one area, accessible and condensed,” she added.
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