One Device Records the Crime Scene

Over 100 officers in the San Marcos (Texas) Police Department rely on a single smart phone application to record images, videos, witness statements, officer notes, drivers’ licenses, evidence, and documents at the scene. They have no need to drag around cameras, audio records, even a note book, much less write down contact information for victims and witnesses or take and return documents to owner.

What’s even more important is that everything collected is encrypted both in the device and as uploaded where it stores automatically in an advanced physical and digital evidence system. The combination of front-end evidence collection and back end storage makes these capabilities a virtual Swiss army knife for evidence of all kinds. QueTel’s Mobile TraQ handles scene documentation and its seamlessly integrated Evidence TraQ and Digital TraQ secure the evidence and make it easily accessible to authorized users, even prosecutors and defense attorneys.

The user enters the incident number and Mobile TraQ, which operates on iOS and Android devices takes it from there making it “tourist simple” to snap images and videos. Once uploaded to the backend software, QueTel can arrange to use Google Speech-to-Text tools to transcribe interviews. During their processing of the scene, investigators can dictate notes, which auto-transcribe and load automatically into a word processor for later editing. The word processor allows attaching images and clips from interviews directly into the text, and after editing can be copied and pasted to the incident report.

The smart phone application “reads” the two-dimensional barcode on the back of a witness or victim driver’s license and automatically populates his or her contact information in the system. No trying to interpret handwriting later on.

The user can take images of evidence as it lies and key or dictate a brief description of the item. The description uploads to the evidence system, in which the investigator can add additional fields of data to categorize the evidence. That image stores with the evidence record for instant display with the record. Rather than seizing and having to return documents, after scanning in at the office they can be scanned and turned into pdfs in the field and uploaded into TraQ.

While Mobile TraQ stores evidence in its own memory that is separated from the smartphone gallery, should the user mistakenly take images that go to the gallery, the application allows transferring them from the gallery to secure memory for upload to TraQ.

And, after upload via Wi-Fi connection to the agency network or directly to a CJIS compliant cloud, the smartphone obliterates all traces of record information, so that it is not subject to subpoena. Should the device fall into the wrong hands prior to or after upload, the data are secure.

The combination of Evidence TraQ and Digital TraQ provide a secure repository for evidence and evidence records, protected by a sophisticated, role-based security module. The built-in query and reporting features of the software make it easy to access evidence records and digital files but keep a cradle to the grave record of all access to individual files. The software has the option to control the sharing files with prosecutors and, even the defense, recording, in the chain of custody when they were made available and when they were accessed. In addition to access to files TraQ automatically records every attempted access to the system, the records returned or listed in each query or report, a record of every change to security settings and assignments of users to security groups.

When we interviewed one officer, he commended a feature he particularly liked: “I love the ability to scan the barcode on drivers’ licenses to capture name, address, etc.”

QueTel, founded in 1982, has been serving law enforcement since 1989. In addition to managing evidence and smart phone documentation of an incident location, its software offerings seamlessly link to its Lab TraQ, as well as managing quartermaster inventory, impounded and seized vehicles, and officer/deputy training.

Note: This is a sponsored section of


Product News

Six interchangeable LED lamps

highlight the features of the OPTIMAX Multi-Lite Forensic Inspection Kit from Spectronics Corporation. This portable kit is designed for crime-scene investigation, gathering evidence, and work in the forensic laboratory. The LEDs provide six single-wavelength light sources, each useful for specific applications, from bodily fluids to fingerprints. The wavelengths are: UV-A (365 nm), blue (450 nm), green (525 nm), amber (590 nm), red (630 nm), and white light (400-700 nm). The cordless flashlight weighs only 15 oz. To learn more, go to: