Category Archives: Evidence

Evidence Log fields

This section provides more detail about customizing your Evidence Log fields:

NEW in Version 7.3

Making Fields Required
Any filed in the Evidence Log can now be made a Required Field (Note: This is only available to program Administrators). Simply right click on the field name and click ‘Required’ in the context menu. The field its self will turn yellow and is now required in order to create a record in the Evidence Log.

Drop Down Menu Items
Adding Items to a Drop Down field has been moved the context menu. Right click on the field name, then click ‘Edit Items’ Another context window will pop up. Click the Add button and then type what needs to be added to the dropdown. Click Save. You new item has been added to the list. You can now close the context menu.

ID fields

The ‘Case Number’ (up to 25 characters) is the unique number assigned by your department to identify the incident associated with the piece of evidence you are inputting.

The same case number is used for all pieces of evidence in a particular case.  The program has been designed to accommodate three additional case numbers that may be issued by other governing authorities.  If for example, the case gets assigned to the next level of authority, (Ex. County) it may have an additional case number issued by that jurisdiction, entered as ‘Case Number 2’ (up to 25 characters).  If the case then gets assigned to the third level of authority, (Ex. State or Federal) with another number assigned, it is entered as ‘Case Number 3’ (up to 25 characters), and finally with an additional fourth level of authority, it is entered as, ‘Case Number 4’ (up to 25 characters).

The ‘Tracking Number’ is unique to each piece of evidence (or each bag of evidence) and is automatically generated by the software and assigned when a record is saved.

The ‘Item Number # of # ‘ field (up to 6 characters per section) is divided into two parts: the number within the total and the total number of items.  For instance, suppose you are working on a new case where ten separate pieces of evidence were collected.  The first record would be entered as 1 of 10.   Once the record has been saved, click on the “ADD” button to enter data for subsequent items, the program will automatically display it as 2 of 10 for the second record.  This same process would apply until you have entered all 10  pieces  of  new  evidence.  If,  at  a  later  date,  another  three  pieces  of evidence are collected for an existing case number, the program will automatically insert the next sequential item number as well as increasing the total number of items.

Core fields

Offense/Incident Location’ (up to 99 characters) is where you enter a description of the location or the address where the offense or incident took place.

In ‘Offense’ (up to 99 characters) you will be enter a brief description of the particular incident or crime.   Since this field is alpha/numeric, you can enter either a written description or an offense code number.

Evidence Description’ (up to 1000 characters) details the description of the piece of evidence.

Evidence Type’ (up to 99 characters) is for recording the type of evidence collected (weapon, drugs, jewelry, etc).

Victim/Complaint’ (up to 120 characters) is for recording the name, address and other important information of the victim of the crime or the person filing the complaint.

Suspect’ (up to 120 characters) is for recording the name, address and other important information of the person(s) believed responsible for the specific incident or crime.

Date/Time of Recovery’ must be entered in a mm/dd/yy, hh:mm format.  This is the date and time the item was collected.  Time can be entered in a standard or military configuration.  If military time is used it will be converted into standard time and the appropriate AM/PM designation will be added when the record is saved.  If you are using standard time, be sure to add the AM or PM, otherwise the program will by default make the time AM.

90 Day Review’ is checked if you want to mark a piece of evidence to be reviewed after 90 days to determine if the item can be purged from the system.

Recovered By’ (up to 60 characters) is for the name of the individual who collected the particular piece of property or evidence.

Location of Recovery’ (up to 99 characters) is the description of the location where the evidence was collected.

There may be an occasion when the person collecting the evidence does not transport it to the property room.   Only when the person transporting the evidence is different from the one who collected the evidence do you need to fill in ‘Transported By’.

Reason Seized’ (up to 45 characters) is for entering the purpose for which a particular piece of property is being retained (Ex. to be tested, holding for court).

Location fields

Current Item Location’ (a read-only field off to the left) displays where the piece of evidence is currently located (either in the evidence room or where it’s checked out).

Temporary Location’ (up to 25 characters) identifies the temporary location used to store evidence until it is logged into the evidence room by the Evidence Room Custodian.  This will typically be done if the evidence room is not open when the evidence is brought to the department to be logged in.

Evidence Room Location’ (up to 25 characters) is the location assigned to evidence in the secured storage area by the Evidence Room Custodian.  The evidence will be taken from the temporary locker, or from whoever transported the items, and assigned a location in the evidence room.  The first time you assign an Evidence Room Location for a piece of evidence the system automatically adds an entry to the Custody Log as well.  That makes it easier to keep track of each piece of property as it moves in and out of your evidence room.

User-defined fields

‘User Field #1’ through ‘User Field #4’ (up to 99 characters each) are user-defined pull down fields that are used to store any additional information you may need about the evidence item.  Customize the name of the field and use it for whatever you need.

‘User Field #6′ through ‘User Field #12’ (up to 250 characters each) are free-text fields that are used for the same purpose as User Fields #1 through #4.  Customize the name of the field and use it for whatever you need.

Notes‘ (up to 1000 characters) is a text field for keeping notes relative to the piece of evidence.

Status and Disposal fields

Case Status’ has two entry options, Active or Inactive, indicating whether or not a case is ongoing.  The default setting is Active. When the case is closed and there is no more activity, you should change the case status to Inactive by editing all of the records associated with the case number.  More on Archiving can be found in the Archiving section.

Disposition’ (up to 99 characters) is used to designate how evidence is to be disposed of when a case is closed and the evidence is no longer needed.  The options are:  ‘Auction Off’,  ‘Destroy’,  ‘Other’,  ‘Return’,  ‘Sell’  or ‘Transfer’.

Dispose’ is marked after it has been determined that the evidence is no longer needed and is ready to be permanently removed from your evidence room.

Date of Disposition’ is the date the item permanently left the property room.  The date will be entered into the Evidence Log when the item is checked out for Final Disposition in the Chain of Custody Log.  Once all the evidence has been disposed of the case can be marked Inactive, if not already done, which will tag the record for archiving.

A note about the Status and Disposal fields

You can run the ‘Inactive Report’ and use it as a tool to help you review and decide which pieces of evidence can be marked for disposal.  At this point, a ‘Disposition Report’ may be printed for submission to the Judge or court along with your request for authorization to dispose of evidence.

Once authorization has been obtained and a piece of evidence is ready for disposal, a ‘Property Receipt’ should be printed for submission with the associated evidence when it is turned over.

Evidence Log

The Evidence Log stores all the information about your evidence from what it is to where it was recovered.  Everything else you do in the program is based on what we enter here.

Adding Evidence

Click Add.  Fill out the form the same as you would on the side of an evidence bag.  White fields are optional.  Yellow fields are required by the program.  Date fields can be in standard MM/DD/YY notation or MM/DD/YY hh:mm notation.  Click Save when you are finished.
Video here: Entering Evidence

More information on each field can be found under Evidence Log Fields.

Some departments have the Evidence Tech enter all of the information here based on a paper form they’re handed when they get the evidence bag.  Other departments save time and paper by having patrol officers enter this information.  The system has custom permissions that enable you to do this in a safe and secure fashion.  Simply give the patrol users Add Evidence permission but no Add Custody permission.  See more about that in the User Admin section.

Making Fields Required (NEW in version 7.3)
Any filed in the Evidence Log can now be made a Required Field (Note: This is only available to program Administrators). Simply right click on the field name and click ‘Required’ in the context menu. The field its self will turn yellow and is now required in order to create a record in the Evidence Log.

Setting Evidence Room Location

When a Patrol user adds evidence they can enter the Temporary Location that a piece of evidence was left in such as a temporary locker.  That may or may not happen in your department depending on whether Patrol has access to your system.

When an Evidence Tech (a user with Admin or Add Custody privileges) brings an item into the evidence room for the first time they set the Evidence Room Location.  This would be the long-term storage bin the Tech intends to keep the item in.

It is at this point, not before, that the item is said to be in the evidence room.  At this point a new Custody Log entry is automatically added showing that the item was received at the evidence room.

Working with attachments

Once an item is saved to the Evidence Log you may want to add attachments to it.  Simply select the item and click the Attachments button.

Click Browse to add files.  Alternatively, or Drag and Drop files into the list to add them.

To delete attachments simply right-click on one and select delete.

A picture attachment can be set to automatically preview when you select an item on the Evidence Log.  To determine which attachment is previewed click on the Default check box for that item.

Printing Labels

Printing labels is pretty straightforward.  Select the item you want to print a label for and click the Print Label button.

The system loads the label template that is specified in System Setup.  Based on the layout of the template file the system prints a barcode label to the printer specified in System Setup.  If your barcode label printer name does not match the name specified in System Setup then Windows hangs onto the print job and nothing prints out.  Make sure your label printer is named PMIPRINTER, not ZDesigner GC420T.

Finding Evidence

  1. Click Find.
  2. Select which field you want to filter the Evidence Log by.
  3. Type in what you want to search for.  Add percentage signs (%) for wildcards at the beginning and the end as necessary.
  4. Click OK.

Deleting Evidence

To delete a piece of evidence  simply double-click it and click the Delete button.

Working with the data grid

The evidence items in your evidence room are displayed on the bottom of the Evidence Log in a grid.

Showing more rows

For better performance the Evidence Log loads the most recent 30 transactions by default.  To see more click on the 500 or ALL tabs at the bottom of the grid.

Sorting by column

By default the Evidence Log grid is sorted by Tracking Number, descending to show you the most recent items at the top.  If you want to sort it a different way simply click on the column header of the column you want to sort by.  Keep in mind that you may need to load more than 30 rows to use sort the way you intend.

Customizing the Evidence Log

It’s very easy to customize the Evidence Log to your needs and preferences.  An Admin user can Rename a field, Hide a field, Move a field, and Edit the list of items for a Drop Down Field.

Rename a field

To rename a field right-click on the name and select “Edit Name”.  Type the new field name. Click outside of the text box to finish editing.

Hide a field

To hide a field right-click on the name and select Hide.

Add a field

To show previously hidden fields click on the Green Plus symbol just above the top of the grid.  Then select which field you want to bring back.

Move a field

To move a field right-click on the name and select Move.  A box is placed around the field that is going to be moved.

Now click on where you want the field to go and it will move there.

Saving your layout changes

Editing, Hiding, and Moving fields are changes to the layout of the window.  For this new layout to be saved you need to close the window and say Yes to whether you want to saved the changes.  Then re-open the window.

Until you close the window and save the changes all other users will continue to see the old layout.

Edit the list of items for a Drop Down Field

Right click on the field name, then click ‘Edit Items’  Another context window will pop up. Click the Add button and then type what needs to be added to the dropdown. Click Save. You new item has been added to the list. You can now close the context menu.

Unlike Editing, Hiding, and Moving fields, when you edit the items in a list it is saved immediately.

Video here: Customize Evidence Log

Batch Bin Transfer

The Batch Bin Transfer screen helps you quickly move multiple pieces of evidence into a single bin.

Much like the way Batch Check In / Check Out works, you add items to the list by either the Tracking Number or the Case Number.

To remove an item right-click it and select Delete or simply use the delete key on the keyboard.

Items that aren’t valid for a Batch Bin Transfer (because they’re checked out) will appear with a Red X next to them.

Enter the bin you want the items moved to at the bottom of the screen and click Make It So.