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Last updated: February 17, 2017

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.

High Density movable shelving Condenses Crime Lab StorageHigh Density movable shelving Condenses Crime Lab Storage for guns and firearm storage

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. 

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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 space

high density movable evidence shelving policeA 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.

High Density movable Box shelving eliminates offsite storage costs

In the new archives room, a mechanical assist high density movable box shelving system provides 26,712 linear feet of storage for archival records recently brought on-site, as well as future growth. Depending on the crime, archival records must be kept 20 to 75 years. The high density movable box shelving system also freed up space for a much needed desk, computers and workspace for boxing files within the same room. “I love the organization of the high density movable shelving systems, as well as the confidentiality and accessibility of the archived files, having them where I need them,” said the crime lab program assistant supervisor. “It's just perfect!”


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