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Improving Police Property and Evidence Management

David Amari, Program Director

Through the use of process mapping, pioneering police evidence technicians have enjoyed considerable operational success by standardizing their property and evidence management activities across shift boundaries. Their mission: To establish and protect the integrity of the property and evidence in their care. The effective development and use of process mapping, historically a very useful business tool in many industries, is relatively new to law enforcement; however, the positive impact on accomplishing police mission objectives has been rapid.

The specific mission objectives of property and evidence management personnel in police agencies, both small and large, are to safely accept, record, store, protect, retrieve, and/or lawfully dispose of the property and evidence entrusted to their care. The challenge, however, is to perform these actions consistently, timely, and cost-effectively with no loss of quality, often on a 24/7 basis.

To successfully achieve their mission objectives, police evidence technicians have taken time to work together to productively challenge the status quo, identify best property and evidence management processes, document those processes in useful process maps, eliminate wasteful tasks, and continually monitor and improve their processes. Their efforts have resulted in effectively reallocating precious resources for more useful purposes, energizing the workforce, and, most importantly, a creating a highly effective property and evidence management system.

This new system, comprised of interconnected employee-developed processes and process maps, has regularly improved the quality of the property and evidence processes, protected integrity of the property and evidence in police possession, and reduced and/or eliminated expensive challenges related to declining storage space.

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