Evidence Tracking: An Overview

Solving crime is no easy business. It involves disciplined law enforcement, a thorough investigation and collection of facts, and extensive evidence testing performed by well-trained teams of criminalists, forensic scientists, and toxicologists.

With new advances in forensic science that include mitochondrial DNA sampling, crime laboratories have become the vital link in helping solve crimes, even decades old cold cases. The mystery now is how a crime should laboratory accurately keep track of all the evidence going in and out of its testing facility? A single piece of lost evidence could mean the difference between a solved— or forever unsolved—crime story.

Evidence Tracking Using RFID

  • DELONTI’s Evidence Tracking solutions track and monitor the movement of evidence as criminalists and other staff members check it out of storage in the property lockers and take it to the various laboratories for testing.
  • All evidence is tagged with RFID
  • RFID readers are located in major passageways

How it works

When evidence arrives, it is logged into the tracking system and given an RFID tag. A unique tag is affixed to each piece of evidence or envelope. RFID antennas are installed at the entry point of each vault. When an officer walks into the vault, the RFID antenna does two things:

  • Reads the officer’s name/ID tag (noting that this officer had possession of the evidence)
  • Reads the RFID tag for each item being carried.

The same thing happens on the way out: the ID of the officer is noted, along with the evidence in his possession. Now, a full chain of custody is established, which is particularly important for evidence transfers

Benefits and Next Steps

More efficient RFID tracking system will result in a quantifiable increase in process turn-around time. Multiple law enforcement agencies will also be able to access the evidence database, allowing the linking of evidence from crimes across different jurisdictions. And at any given time, the laboratory can locate a single piece of criminal evidence.

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