Lake County Sheriff’s Department

Securing chain of custody accreditation.

The Lake Sheriff’s Department improved its evidence storage to ensure a secure chain of custody

The Lake County Sheriff’s Department takes in about 5500 pieces of evidence each year. Their previous storage facility had security concerns, in addition to potential threats of water damage from plumbing above the storage room. “It wasn’t a great situation. We were running out of room,” said Harry Nickel, the evidence manager for the department.

Our team worked with the sheriff’s department to help plan storage for their new 12,000 square foot facility that would include, evidence intake, small crime lab, property storage, and long-term evidence storage. They were also seeking to gain accreditation from the Illinois Law Enforcement Accreditation Program (ILEAP) all while moving 80,000 items in evidentiary storage to their new facility.

Planning a new evidence storage facility

The evidence manager called on our team to help analyze their storage needs and learn what their best options are to utilize their new space, while helping them with ILEAP accreditation. We audited their existing shelving systems and took an inventory of all items they needed to store. Our team recommended ActivRAC mobile storage, along with other high density shelving and evidence locker options.

We worked with the sheriff’s department to plan a secure chain of custody from the time evidence was brought into the building until it was released to the courts or disposed of according to the law. We designed an intake room that allowed evidence to pass through from deputies to the evidence manager through secured lockers.

The Success Story

Soon after the move into the new facility, the Lake County Sheriff’s Department announced that it was the first, and so far the only, sheriff’s office to receive accreditation from the Illinois Law Enforcement Accreditation Program (ILEAP). Evidence management was part of the thorough accreditation process, and the evidence department’s careful documentation of chain-of-custody procedures, as well as Spacesaver’s evidence storage solutions, contributed to the department’s success.

The flexibility of ActivRAC mobile shelving combined with state-of-the-art evidence storage is a winning combination for public safety. Download the case study to see we accommodated each aspect of their storage needs: