There’s a wide variety of items to store in the public safety realm on a daily basis—evidence, files, weapons, gear, supplies, uniforms, and so much more. We have years of experience in delivering comprehensive, customized public safety storage solutions to departments and agencies—and we have the knowledge and expertise to make your project a success.
In designing a comprehensive public safety storage solution for the nearby Bensalem Police Department, our goals were simple—to directly address their inefficient storage space and the lack of security it caused as a result. Bensalem was struggling with every aspect of their public safety storage, including short- and long-term evidence storage, adequate locker rooms and locker storage, record storage, and space for tactical and spare duty weapons. “It was basically a disaster,” says Frederick Harran, Bensalem’s Director of Public Safety. When the department decided to undergo an expansion, they knew they had the opportunity to create the storage space they wanted.
A common weak link in the chain of custody of evidence is the interval from when evidence leaves the hands of the person who collected it until it’s properly logged by the evidence technician. That’s why a clear, well-documented chain of custody must be maintained at all times. In the case of Bensalem, a new evidence storage system is now “moved by your index finger,” Harran says. “Being able to turn the unit and get our evidence out quickly and safely for the workers in that part of the township has been a huge savings.”
Evidence lockers from Spacesaver not only provide the utmost security and integrity of evidence preservation and retrieval, they also help enable the processes that regulatory agencies look on favorably when assessing your agency for accreditation. Lockers can be configured to store evidence of various shapes and sizes, and offer a choice of pass-thru or non-pass-thru. For those departments that deal with biological evidence, refrigerated lockers are also available as well, with efficient option for vials and tubes of evidence.
Bensalem’s department utilizes a pass-thru evidence locker solution, which means an officer never has to go in the evidence room. “They’re in a hallway, and they put the evidence through a secure locker,” Harran says. “It stays secure, and no one can touch it but the evidence custodian.” The system is configured to store everything from a recovered wallet to large items such as stereo systems and televisions, and it also encompasses refrigerated lockers for biological evidence.
We’re right in line with the accreditation standard for our evidence. Before this, we used cheap little lockers that we rigged up ourselves, which certainly didn’t help us.
Frederick Harran - Bensalem Police Department
One of the added results of Bensalem’s new evidence storage solution is how it has helped with the accreditation process. “We’re right in line with the accreditation standard for our evidence. Before this, we used cheap little lockers that we rigged up ourselves, which certainly didn’t help us.” Harran says. “With the tracking and security it’s allowed us, accreditation has become a non-issue. So often departments will go through this process and will have to reevaluate their building, their storage, the security of their files. It’s been a huge cost savings for us.”
After evidence is logged, a high-density mobile storage system can help maintain integrity and maximize available space in your evidence room. Or, for large departments with off-site storage, a high-bay shelving system can assist with compacting that space even further. An off-site storage solution created for the Houston Police Department helped them store over a million items of vastly different sizes, from jewelry and drugs to car bumpers and washing machines.
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A locker room isn’t just a place to store personnel items and gear—it’s a home away from home in many ways. Our personal storage lockers are infinitely configurable for the person using them, and when used in conjunction with a department’s locker room, they’ve actually been known to increase employee morale.
“Our lockers were 20 years old, and they weren’t able to hold all the items our officers needed to store,” says Harran. “There was equipment lying around, and officers were having to keep valuable equipment in their cars.” With the addition of Spacesaver’s FreeStyle lockers, Bensalem’s officers have a configurable, spacious place for all of their gear and personal belongings. “The officers really appreciate the space. When people come in and they have better equipment to work with, that helps them on the streets. They work a little harder—and a little happier.”
In addition to the many configurations these personal storage lockers offer, Spacesaver has worked with several departments across the United States on custom solutions within those lockers, such as in-locker ventilation systems, drying trays for bulletproof vests, two-tier locker banks to conserve space, indirect lighting solutions to assist with public safety LEED accreditation, and retractable locker benches tested to hold the weight of 600 pounds.
Weapons racks, gun boxes, and ammunition storage can make your space as fully functional as possible while keeping gear within easy reach. The Bensalem Police Department needed weapons storage for their officers’ use as well as for evidence storage, so several racks were installed in each area to ensure organization and safety.
Employee files, arrest warrants, paperwork relating to a particular case—in the Public Safety sector, file storage is alive and well. Bensalem’s files were cramped and crowded, which made it difficult to retrieve appropriate files quickly. After the installation of a high-density mobile system, department staff are now able to retrieve files quickly with the help of a powered control, and security codes are integrated with the system to provide an audit trail—providing an optimum level of security.