Bensalem Police Department was in need of a major storage renovation after moving into a new building. DSM Evidence Lockers by Spacesaver and other storage systems saved space—and the department’s morale.
Bensalem Police Department was founded in 1692, which makes it a decade younger than the state it resides in—Pennsylvania, which was founded in 1682. The township borders the northeast section of Philadelphia, and is the ninth-largest municipality in the state.
The population of the township has been growing—a fact that directly impacts the activities and environment of the Bensalem Police Department. With over 100 officers and the distinction of being one of the most prestigious departments in the region, the department found itself in need of a major expansion a year and a half ago. Many aspects of their current facility were lacking, including adequate locker rooms, a system for record retention, temporary and long-term evidence storage, and space for tactical and spare duty weapons.
The major reason for the improvement is the all-encompassing storage solution that was tailored to the department, created for them by the storage team at DSSI. The new building includes a variety of storage and shelving systems, including DSM evidence lockers by Spacesaver for both long-term and temporary storage, personal storage lockers in Bensalem’s locker rooms, and enhanced record storage on a high-density mobile shelving system.
“Equipment was laying around, officers often had to keep valuable equipment in their cars, and of course our files—one of the most secure possessions that we have—were almost a disaster. Now, I don’t know if things could be any better.”
Frederick Harran - Director of Public Safety, Bensalem, Pennsylvania
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 able to be property 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.”
Bensalem’s department utilizes a pass-thru DSM 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.
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 its 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.”
“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.”
Harran also appreciated how seamless the both the sales and the installation process was with the team at DSSI. “They worked with us, and worked around our schedule, which is huge—we’re all over the place,” he says. “And, if you have a question or want to tweak something, you pick up the phone—they were all about working with us to make sure the final product was exactly what we wanted and that we were satisfied.”
In addition to Bensalem PD, we’ve worked with countless Public Safety agencies, partnering to create systems to help you—so you can help others. Another one of our favorite installations was for the Salisbury Police Department in Salisbury, Pennsylvania.