How Can I Track Police Evidence With RFID?

By RFID Journal

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Ask The ExpertsHow Can I Track Police Evidence With RFID?
RFID Journal Staff asked 14 years ago

I am looking for a technology that can assist my city's police department in tracking evidence. Does such a solution exist with radio frequency identification?

—Name withheld


A number of police departments and government agencies have deployed RFID for evidence tracking. Bode Technology, one of the world's largest DNA analysis firms, is piloting an RFID system that it developed to manage DNA evidence as it passes through a supply chain. The solution includes storage and analysis in the laboratory. To date, says Randy Nagy, Bode's sales and marketing VP, the system is reducing the time spent manually recording information about specimens and their movement through the site, and provides a better, more accurate record of where each specimen has been, and who has been handling it (see Bode Technology Launches RFID System to Track DNA Evidence).

The Travis County Fire Marshall, in Austin, Texas, has employed RFID to manage 2,500 items of evidence. The office is utilizing the Clues system, provided by Intelligentz, to monitor the location of each piece of evidence for active cases, as well as those for archived cases up to 10 years old.

A $75.5 million, 90,000-square-foot building being built by the Santa Clara County government is using RFID to track and manage approximately 35,000 to 40,000 pieces of evidence annually (see Santa Clara Crime Lab Turns to RFID).

The Dutch Forensic Institute (NFI), a government agency that collects and evaluates crime-scene evidence from around the Netherlands, has implemented an RFID track-and-trace system for the 100,000 pieces of evidence it collects every year. Guns, knives, cigarette butts, hair samples and other items are placed in plastic bags at crime scenes, and are labeled with EPC Gen 2 RFID tags (see Dutch Forensic Institute Uses RFID to Control Crime Evidence).

And in 2005, RFID startup firm Pro Squared created an RFID-based evidence-tracking system for Indiana's state arson investigators (see RFID System Keeps Track of Evidence).

—Mark Roberti, Editor, RFID Journal

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