Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

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February 8, 2011

KPD property system pursues efficiency through technology

Drugs, guns, money, jewelry, computers, bicycles, cars, trucks. You name it, it can be found in the Kokomo Police Department’s property room.

“There’s anything from A to Z in here,” said Lt. Dave Galloway, property room supervisor. “And we’re responsible for those items until it goes to court.”

Each month officers of the Kokomo Police Department seize more than 500 pieces of evidence in a variety of criminal cases.

In doing so, maintaining and preserving that evidence sufficiently is key.

Stacked neatly in a 20 feet by 40 feet room, the more than 50,000 pieces of evidence are kept under lock and key on shelves in the basement of City Hall. Two large refrigerators nearby hold all of the biohazard material and blood evidence.

Keeping track of the items in the system used to be a daunting task.

Thanks to technology, that process is much easier.

“We have one of the best state-of-the-art property systems in the state,” said Maj. Brian Seldon, head of the property system unit. “That’s something we are very proud of.”

Led by Galloway, the evidence system has one full-time civilian employee, Tammy Burge, and a part-time employee, Andy Richards.

Last year, the unit took in an average of 512 pieces of evidence each month making it important to keep tabs on every single item, Galloway said.

The key to the system is the use of bar-code technology to manage and track evidence and department assets, thereby saving a great deal of time and effort.

Like a grocery store, each item is given a bar code that enables the officers to track the item via a computer system through the entire process.

Each piece of evidence is identified with a special label containing all the important information about the item and its location within the property room.

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