Case Study: RMS Evidence Management Limitations

Greenville Department of Public Safety
2011 Case Study - Problems |
Solutions

The Property and Evidence Unit at the Greenville Department of Public Safety in South Carolina serves over 700 officers from multiple agencies. Until the spring of 2010, they used an RMS system for evidence management that required strict entry with little customization. The property room underwent expansion and renovation, however the RMS system could not adapt to the changes made. As a result the old RMS module took hundreds of staff hours just to complete daily tasks. Now, with EvidenceOnQ our staff has the time to complete vital projects we never had time to work on.

The following case study outlines the problems faced by Greenville DPS, the subsequent solutions, and quotes from the staff.

PROBLEM: Inability to easily change locations. The restrictions of the evidence system forced them to individually change the location on the property report, on the evidence package, and in their RMS.

SOLUTION: EvidenceOnQ allows them to change locations by scanning a barcode or querying a group and transferring them all at once with the click of the mouse.
QUOTE: “EvidenceOnQ allows locations to be changed in groups rather than individually like our old system. Scan by group, browse, and batch update has become our best friend!” – Tabathia Fricks

PROBLEM: Duplication of work effort: The officers were required to fill out paper property reports to submit with their evidence. The property room clerks then entered the data from the prospective sheet into the RMS as well as the barcode system. The property reports were kept in file cabinets for Chain of Custody with copies going up to case file in the records division. At times, data entry would be backed up for days depending on staff level.

SOLUTION: EvidenceOnQ allows the property room clerks to enter evidence straight into the system, saving them duplicate data entry and time. This enables data to be up-to-date with no backlog.
QUOTE: “EvidenceOnQ has freed an employee to be a property clerk rather than a data entry/filing clerk.” – Kara Bennick, Supervisor

PROBLEM: Difficulty locating and managing records: All property reports and destruction records were maintained on paper. Due to the volume, it was often hard to locate the report or destruction documentation associated with the evidence. There was far more evidence coming in than the staff could purge out at any given time. Their RMS system was not customizable as their policies and procedures changed. It was complicated and not user friendly when teaching to new employees.

SOLUTION: EvidenceOnQ allows unlimited customizable searches, finding matches within seconds. These items can be transferred, signed for destruction, and found quickly, expediting the paperwork of the destruction process.
QUOTE: “It was hard to keep track of items that were designated to be destroyed. Now with a customized query, we are able to check instantaneously.” – Tabathia Fricks
QUOTE 2: “EvidenceOnQ has saved us over 5 hours a month when calculating monthly statistics.” – Kara Bennick, Supervisor

PROBLEM: RMS was a cookie-cutter system that was hard to use: The RMS system was not customizable and became more challenging as the DPS policies and procedures changed. It was very complicated and not user friendly when teaching to new employees.

SOLUTION: EvidenceOnQ is user friendly, easier to view, and easier to train. It is very customizable and allows property personnel to modify as their needs change.
QUOTE: “The ease-of-use and customizable features allows us to quickly track and manage any amount of property and evidence received in the property room. This is very important being we are a support entity that handles items from multiple agencies.” – Kara Bennick, Supervisor

PROBLEM: Paper documentation: The RMS systems required hard copies of the property reports to be maintained for accurate chain of custody. This created the possibility of sheets being misfiled or lost, risking the chain of custody being compromised.

SOLUTION: EvidenceOnQ has eliminated the need for paper files to be kept in the property room. All copies are now relocated to the Records Department for entry into case file. This is allowing them to move towards a paperless system as time progresses.
QUOTE: "Before EvidenceOnQ, we had papers coming out of our ears! Now we have control over our paperwork. We only print things we need, and we don't even have to do that." – Tabathia Fricks

PROBLEM: Inventory Quality Control: The restrictions of the RMS evidence system did not allow them to have a complete and accurate inventory of items in storage.

SOLUTION: EvidenceOnQ allows unlimited customized queries that can be used for monthly statistical data, a complete inventory of all items, and daily projects such as intake, destructions, and monitoring evidence that has been checked out.
QUOTE: “We never had the ability to do a complete inventory with our old system. With EvidenceOnQ we actually have that goal in reach.” – Kara Bennick, Supervisor
QUOTE 2: "Since going live January 1, 2011 we've managed to purge out over 1100 items." – Tabathia Fricks

Summary

The EvidenceOnQ system gave Greenville County Department of Public Safety a complete customizable evidence management system. Because of its flexibility to be easily modified, it is in compliance with their current policies and procedures and can be changed as the department's needs change.

It has eliminated the need for paper copies, drastically reduced the many hours of data entry, and allows for easy tracking and location of evidence. The evidence data can be easily modified and purge projects are handled quickly and efficiently. EvidenceOnQ subsequently saves the department hundreds of staff hours that used to be dedicated to data entry while increasing work proficiency and integrity of their evidence.

Key Benefits

Today, Greenville DPS saves time using EvidenceOnQ as their evidence management system. It provides a detailed and accurate chain of custody that is unalterable, ensuring the integrity of their evidence. They have been able to quickly and efficiently complete routine tasks and have found it amazingly fast and easy to use when completing monthly statistics.

For more information, contact FileOnQ at 1-800-603-6802, by email at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it , or online at www.fileonq.com.

Download the full PDF version of this case study here.

 
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