It’s the Back End that Counts

 -Sponsored Content- In recent years, a number of solutions have been introduced for evidence management, following the chain of custody from the crime scene to the courtroom. What distinguishes Mobile TraQ is its evidence management back end. The smartphone app is unique, not only as a single device to document a scene, but also as a front end to TraQ Suite, software that manages all of your physical and digital evidence. From collection at the scene, through your forensic unit (or lab), and until it is forwarded to the DA for court, TraQ provides integrated evidence management.

Smartphone Software

Mobile TraQ turns your smartphone (or iPad) into a Swiss army knife with six functions in one: video camera, still camera, voice recorder, note pad, evidence recorder, and driver’s license reader. Officers enter a case number and charge. They can annotate images and videos as they take them. They record interviews of victims and witnesses. Either by typing or dictating, they enter notes into the smartphone. The built-in scanner reads the barcode on the back of drivers’ licenses to record data such as name, address, and driver’s license number. The user takes an image of evidence items as they lie and dictates (or types in) a brief description.

Uploading from the smartphone to TraQ Suite on the cloud or your servers is fast and easy. After successful upload, the Mobile TraQ App cleans the memory. No discoverability!

What happens next caps off the uniqueness of the whole evidence collection and management process.

Digital Evidence Management

The video, images, and interviews are stored in Digital TraQ. There, non-technical users can analyze and enhance copies of images to help highlight or focus on points of particular interest. No special training is needed to mark or clip frames from video, extract selected segments, redact videos, or distort their audio track. Technical users can employ Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Premier for more sophisticated processing. In each case, every enhancement action on a copy of the original is documented and automatically added to the chain of custody. The original is never touched, and it is authenticated each time it is viewed or played.

TraQ auto-transcribes interviews and dictated notes into separate word-processor files. The officer or detective can play the audio file and correct the inevitable errors in the transcription. The user can expand the dictated notes and cobble them into the written report, pulling in quotes from the transcribed interviews and image files to create the text of the case report.

Evidence TraQ

The officer logs on to the physical evidence component of TraQ to see the evidence images and descriptions that he or she entered in the field. After filling in additional mandatory fields, the user prints a barcode for each item, applies it, and places the item in a locker. The system prints a receipt and emails it to the records department or to the officer’s supervisor.

This Evidence TraQ component allows custodians to manage the physical evidence without the need to store and copy CD/DVDs for images, videos, and interviews. The barcode makes transfers, internal moves, and inventories a snap, saving time in day-to-day management. TraQ can provide a variety of alerts for overdue checked out items, owner letters past their expiration date, or items on cases where the statute of limitations has passed. No tickler files needed!

Lab TraQ

The Lab TraQ component of the TraQ Suite enables your forensic unit to track evidence examinations; record examiner analysis—including an electronic recordation of latent print analysis, comparison, evaluation, and verification (ACE-V); and generate reports for review and publication. Lab TraQ lets the unit commander generate management statistics on unit activity. The functionality of Lab TraQ is ISO/IEC 17025 compliant.

Preparing for Court

Detectives who need to assemble items for the prosecutor can view all of the evidence in one “case portal” interface. They can play the videos and audio files and see images and scanned documents. They can package it all for disclosure to the defense, but they can also mark items that they feel the prosecutor will find most critical to making the case. When they sit down to prepare with the DA, all of the key evidence is ready for review. The concept is to save the detective’s time and to get rid of the three-ring binders that they would otherwise need to tote around. It can be paperless!

Paperless Purging

The ultimate benefit for evidence custodians is to make purging paperless. Custodians receive alerts for items that are potentially ready for disposition, and they use it to email officers (or detectives) requesting approval to purge. Officers respond electronically directly to the property room, which continues the disposition process for approved items. Items to be held need to be justified, and property custodians set a new purge review date. They use the system to send follow up emails to officers who have been delinquent in responding. Easy to keep ahead of intake!

Mobile TraQ is an easy-to-use, time saving tool to begin a paperless process of managing all of your evidence from scene, through the lab, to court, and, finally, to disposition.


"Thank you for TraQ! It is so easy to use, and simplifies my job as a Major Crime Detective. I work unattended deaths, sexual assaults, homicides, robberies, and other crimes against persons. We don’t have CSIs so we do all of our own scenes. I appreciate the ability to come to the office after a scene, enter the evidence without generating a narrative, and having the ability to print the evidence list and refer to it later for my complete report. I use the evidence report printout (or email option) as my evidence receipt at a scene as well. I send it through the mail or over email directly to the property owners. I am happy to join the test team in my department for the mobile app. It will speed up processing, and help tie my scene in more nicely with my report. "

—Carole Boswell, Vancouver (WA) Police Department


For More Information

To learn more about Mobile TraQ, Digital TraQ, Evidence TraQ, Lab TraQ—and other solutions from QueTel—visit: http://quetel.com/portfolio

 
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