Methods for Auditing Police Equipment Inventory
Because of the sensitive nature of the equipment used by police officers, the method selected to audit or count and record location and responsible party is important. Human nature dictates that if an audit is pre-defined, either the auditor or the responsible party can be influenced to count what “should” be there rather than what “is” there. This is especially true when counting small items (bullets, for example).
To perform a true audit, two suggested methods are:
Unscheduled Audits: Take unexpected audits so that the responsible parties are not forewarned of a pending equipment check.
Blind Audits: Do not give the person performing the inventory a list of equipment to be found. A “blind” audit requires the person counting to simply count and record what they find. That method precludes any subconscious bias on the part of the auditor during the count.
Organizing the audit:
Audits by Location or Item: The equipment counts could be by “location” – for example cars assigned to a specific station, or by “item” – all guns. (Select the sample with logistics in mind – you don’t want your auditor having to drive all over the city.)
Audit by Responsible Party: Randomly rotate audits by officer, car, department, shift – whatever makes sense for an efficient and effective count.
Full Department Audit: At times it makes sense to audit all equipment owned by the department. This could be required by the City or State Government; it could be performed at the end of each fiscal year.
Of course, using a computerized Police Equipment Tracking System that provides the chain-of-custody for each piece of equipment is a great tool that will result in an effective audit. Not only will it help locate equipment for the audit, it will determine the “last responsible party” if something is missing.
Affordable Software for Law Enforcement
Departments and Agencies are adopting time and cost-saving software for many applications:
- Equipment Tracking
- Evidence Tracking
- Consumable Inventory – both in the Department and in Correctional Facilities
- eCitation – record and print citations on a mobile device
- eTicketing – record and print parking tickets efficiently
All of these applications provide a higher level of accountability and, in many cases, increase the safety of the officers.
Barcode Labeling for small spaces
One of the questions we are asked when discussing barcode labeling with Law Enforcement Agencies is “How am I going to label my (guns, bullets, keys, etc.)”
One of our most popular barcode labels for this requirement is our unique 2D “dot”. Its 3/8″ in diameter and unlike some competitive circle barcode labels, it is made of thick, durable polyester material with adhesive that has been “chemical tested” for adherence. This label can literally go through a fire and not only survive, but still be scanned by a barcode reader.