Police Crime Lab Guards Stored Evidence
A state police crime lab needed a solution for protecting the chain-of-custody of evidence collected and stored in its facility. The agency reached out to Spacesaver® for help. The solutions designed and installed included evidence lockers and mobile shelving, tailored specifically to match the agency’s process for ensuring the integrity of evidence while optimizing space.
Crime Lab Needs Solutions for Guarding Evidence Integrity
For years, the agency grappled with the task of managing property and processing evidence for 3,000 state troopers, as well as virtually all levels of law enforcement throughout the state. However, storage complexity grew with the construction of a new crime lab technology center that includes separate trace/biological, ballistics, and Controlled and Substances (CDS) laboratories. The labs drove the need for a storage solution that would:
- Guard the integrity of evidence throughout the chain of custody
- Safely and securely store items such as weapons, ammunition and CDS
- Ensure that only authorized personnel have access to evidence
- Facilitate documentation of evidence handling at every step up to final disposition
- Optimize existing space
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Crime Lab Solutions: Evidence Lockers and Mobile Shelving
At the crime lab technology center, a unique mix of mobile shelving and non-pass through evidence lockers were installed. The storage solution, which covers virtually every aspect within the chain-of-custody, includes:
- A mechanical-assist mobile shelving system at central storage for incoming and outgoing evidence
- Thirty-one customized, non-pass through evidence lockers for trace and biological evidence
- Fifty-one evidence lockers for firearms storage
- A mechanical-assist mobile shelving system for ammunition storage
- A mechanical-assist mobile shelving system with roll-out drawers for case files
Examples of How the New Storage Systems are Used at the Crime Lab
The central storage area of the technology center serves as the first critical point in the chain of custody. Mobile shelving with parallel units on each side of the room provides much-needed capacity to securely store evidence, until it is accurately logged and processed.
After evidence is logged, lab scientists conduct a variety of tests and analyses. When not at their station, the scientists can place evidence they are still working on in non-pass-through lockers that are customized to fit under their desks for extra security and space savings. Once they are finished the scientists can put the evidence inside a locker, which automatically shuts, and when locked, can only be accessed by the person in charge of the tests.
In the ballistics lab, the mobile shelving stores virtually every kind of ammunition known. The unit features eight-inch-deep custom shelves, versus traditional shelf sizes, to conserve space. And firearms processed at the ballistics lab are housed in a vault in customized evidence lockers, which provide the flexibility needed to store an array of weapons.
Contact Us for Help Protecting Evidence in Your Crime Lab
Southwest Solutions Group® designs and installs evidence lockers and mobile shelving to protect evidence stored at crime labs. SSG will even offer a free consultation to determine your exact needs before the design process begins. To learn more or to speak with a specialist, call us at 1-800-803-1083 or send us a message today.