Department makes changes to "ensure evidence's integrity"
6:29 PM EST Mar 05, 2015
COLCHESTER, Vt. —The $15,000 overhaul of the Colchester Police Department's was successfully implemented with the EvidenceOnQ evidence management system from FileOnQ, Inc., helping to make their evidence chamber one of the best in the state.
"I mean there may be something out there that's better, but I'm not aware of it," said Keith Schaffer, evidence technician. We are very happy with what the new system provides.
These changes come just months after veteran Detective Tyler Kinney was arrested. He's accused of stealing drug, money and gun evidence from the department while he worked alone. The chief has said this sparked their changes.
Going forward, all evidence will have two sets of eyes on it as soon as it's filed. It's now put into barcoded bags and sealed hut. Before, bags could be replaced, because they weren't marked.
Once evidence is placed in a locker and locked, an evidence technician can enter the secure vault and retrieve it from the other side, alongside a supervisor.
Guns, money and drugs must be placed in Lockers 1-12. Accessing them requires another key and two people have to be present throughout the processing of that evidence.
Cameras have been installed to oversee the room. Boxes that evidence gets placed in are now marked. With the universal barcoding system, everything is tracked and cataloged with a computer.
"Anybody who comes into a situation where there's any discrepancy in the evidence," said Sgt. Jeffrey Bean, "it needs to be reported immediately to a supervisor for investigation."
The department says the changes are to ensure the integrity of the evidence.
"No one person is ever left alone. There are multiple checks and balances, where flags are raised as early as possible if something is going on, and that way it gives the chief and the lieutenants a chance to come down and address the issue right away," said Schaffer.
Members of the department who do not handle evidence everyday will conduct unannounced audits of the space.