San Diego police evidence room to be computerized

By Vanessa Guzman

City News Service

The San Diego Police Department’s evidence room will be computerized, thanks to donations and a gift made Tuesday by a local couple.

A computerized evidence system to track items found at crime scenes will be funded with $126,000, Mayor Jerry Sanders said.

“The new system will save us thousands of hours a year,” Sanders said. “That means less time writing and more time out in the streets.”

Sanders said officers now fill out a separate property tag for each piece of evidence logged, and that can add up to about 20 tags in a single case.

“This adds up to 160,000 pieces of property a year and separate tags for each item,” police Chief William Lansdowne said.

San Diego Police Foundation board member Ted Fogliani, CEO and founder of Outsource Manufacturing Inc., and wife Monica came up with the idea of modernizing the evidence room after taking a tour of the police station.

“I came down to tour the station and noticed a group of people down in the evidence processing room that work really hard,” Fogliani said. “And my wife and I knew we needed to make things more effective and efficient for them, so we got other people involved and knew this was a good time.”

Fogliani gave $60,000 to match a donation by AT&T.

The donation will pay for the system, called FileOnQ, and on-going maintenance, Assistant Chief Shelley Zimmerman said.

The system is already in use at other police departments and some parts will be operational in two or three months, Zimmerman said.

“This donation will push us into the digital age and allows us to monitor all evidence at one time,” Zimmerman said.

The FileOnQ system should be fully operational by the end of 2011, she said.