March 08, 2013
North Andover Police Department Highly Recommends BACS Evidence Management System
“The system is fantastic! The North Andover Police Department is very happy with how easy the BACS Evidence System is to use. All of our officers agree that the system makes their jobs easier. Dropping off evidence is a much faster process than ever before, and chain of custody has been significantly improved.”
- - Chief of Police Paul J. Gallagher, NAPD
The town of North Andover in Massachusetts, located just 24 miles north of Boston, is home to roughly 28,000. In March of 2012, the North Andover Police Department (NAPD) announced its intent to implement the new LEID Products BACS Evidence Management system. The system – comprised of Electronic Evidence Lockers and BACS Evidence Management ID Station Kiosk – provides access and tracking capabilities for evidence moving into and out of the police department property room.
With a brand new police headquarters, the department sought a better solution than their prior keyed locker system with its inherent inefficiencies – lack of time and date stamp, property with missing or incomplete paperwork, etc. One of the many reasons Chief of Police Paul J. Gallagher decided to purchase the BACS Evidence Management System was because it allows his officers to efficiently maintain detailed documentation and avoid defense motions. There are very strict rules around evidence control that his officers must adhere to. Chain of custody is also a major factor in courtroom presentation.
Chief Gallagher also recognized the value of the labor time savings his evidence control officers would realize with the BACS System; allowing for them to focus more time on other important duties such as detective work. NAPD was the 29th police department to earn accreditation from the Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission for their commitment to increasing department efficiency and accountability. The department’s commitment to efficiency and accountability is further demonstrated through its use of the BACS Evidence Management System. In fact, NAPD’s Detective Dan Cronin, with his 17 years of experience as an evidence control officer, was instrumental in formulating the blueprint of needed requirements used in the development of LEID’s new state-of-the-art evidence management system.
In August of 2012, NAPD successfully implemented the BACS System and quickly achieved substantial results – including better chain of custody, increased reporting accuracy, time savings and officer satisfaction. The NAPD’s BACS Evidence Management System consists of the BACS ID Station Kiosk complete with touch screen user navigation, a biometric ID reader for access verification and a barcode reader for property identification. The ID Station is interfaced to LEID’s Electronic Evidence Lockers providing the secure temporary storage of evidence incoming and outgoing from NAPD’s property rooms. The system includes BACS customizable evidence management software with complete chain of custody tracking and reporting capabilities to monitor all evidence transfers. Remote management capabilities to access, monitor and manage the system while off site are also included with the system.
NAPD has been using the BACS System for approximately six months. LEID invited Detective Cronin to provide his opinion as to the value of the system. His detailed responses to these questions are listed below:
1. What were the most important requirements in terms of what you wanted to accomplish by using the BACS Evidence Management System?
Streamline the evidence/property intake process and improve the chain of custody.
2. What would you say are the biggest benefits the BACS System provides? How would you explain to another department what the value is to having the system as opposed to what you had before?
•The chain of custody at the initial intake of evidence/property is significantly improved.
•The ability to place evidence/property in the system for an officer to pick up for court or return to the owner, instead of requiring an “in person hand-off”, has been a significant time saver for both the evidence control officer and the officer needing to pick up evidence for court, etc.
•The system requires the officer dropping evidence off to select what needs to be done with the evidence – fingerprint analysis, DNA testing, safe-keeping, etc. – again, saving time for the evidence officer and more importantly, safeguarding the accurate processing of property.
3. How has the response been from the officers required to use the system?
We have had very positive feedback on the user-friendly kiosk, and our officers also like the elimination of a few steps of the intake process, making it one easy process.
4. Do you have any other comments working with LEID?
ID’s ability to work with NAPD to custom fit the system was exceptional.