Carlsbad Police Evidence Room Vaults Ahead

The City of Carlsbad, California has awarded a contract to QueTel Corporation for a first-of-its-kind browser based software that integrates the control of physical and digital evidence into a single user interface. As part of a multi-year upgrade to its public safety information technology infrastructure, the City has selected QueTel Corporation, to help manage physical evidence, as well as its increasingly important digital evidence.

QueTel’s evidence management system will result in increased efficiencies that are estimated to save the Police Department 3500 staff hours. The new system will replace manual forms with a single computer screen-form that officers can fill out in their vehicles. This means more officer time on the street. Prior to this, once the officer had filled in the manual forms, property technicians had to enter them into the PC. Often this duplicate effort required time consuming correction, if entries were incomplete or incorrect. The automated forms will reduce the need for corrections and assist officers to in making entries complete.

QueTel’s unique fully browser based digital image management software will also save time because evidence staff will no longer need to store, handle, copy, and distribute CDs and DVDs on which images, video, and voice recordings have been stored. It is quick and easy for officers to upload digital evidence from any PC on the network. Likewise, authorized users can access, copy, and print images relieving the property technicians of these tasks.

Not only does the software store digital evidence in the same repository as physical evidence data, but it authenticates that the digital data is original and has not been touched, restricts who can access it, and prepares latent fingerprints for comparison with FBI files. The software opens Photoshop to allow authorized crime screen technicians to enhance a copy of the original and saves a log of what they do in the chain of custody, along with a record of every person who accessed the digital file and what they did.

The City of Carlsbad Police Department is a full-service police department that prides itself on its strong partnership with the community and high service levels. It consists of 110 sworn officers serving just over 100,000 residents, in Northern San Diego County. It was a leader in the early adoption of barcode technology for tracking evidence, but the underlying technology has, as much of computer technology, been superseded by the passage of time. In pioneering the concept of integrating digital and physical evidence in one system it has, again, assumed a pioneering role.

QueTel Corporation of Chantilly, Virginia has been providing tracking software, often using barcode technologies since 1982. In addition to software for digital and physical evidence, it provides off-the-shelf and custom solutions for controlling equipment, uniforms, and supplies, asset management, inmate tracking, and crime lab tracking. QueTel prides itself in developing officer-proof, modular software so clients need only purchase what they need, and supporting that software with renowned technical support.

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The language barrier between English-speaking investigators and Spanish-speaking witnesses is a growing problem. (Updated 28 February 2011)

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