APRIL 3, 2013, Mt. Prospect, IL – According to the Office of Community Orientated Policing Services, nearly 12,000 police officers and sheriff’s deputies were laid off in 2011, and approximately 53 percent of counties were working with fewer staff than the year before.1 As law enforcement agencies continue to deal with sizeable cuts in budgets and staffing, many are turning to technology solutions that will enable them to do more with less. This includes identifying ways to replace time consuming, manual processes and documentation with speed and automation.
Cummins Allison, the leading innovator and provider of coin, currency and check processing solutions, explains how law enforcement agencies can streamline the task of counting and documenting seized cash and strengthen their evidentiary chain by processing currency in the field.
Improving Efficiency with Automated Cash Handling Machines
When money is seized during an arrest, at some point, it must be counted, sorted, scanned or photocopied, then wrapped and stored in a safe or evidence room. This is often an immensely time-consuming and labor-intensive activity that requires agencies to count the cash by hand then spend hours photocopying each bill for evidentiary documentation, tasks highly prone to human error.
To address the frustrations and inefficiencies of manual processing and documentation, many forward-thinking law enforcement agencies are implementing automated cash counting machines to improve speed and accuracy when counting and documenting seized currency. Today’s currency scanners are dependable and extremely accurate, and digital imaging technology simultaneously scans the front and back of each bill, capturing and storing serial numbers, scanning for counterfeits and counting mixed bills, all at a speed of 1,600 bills per minute. This automated equipment makes it possible for a single officer to count and properly document thousands of dollars in minutes – saving officers hours of time and providing solid evidentiary value.
Bringing Currency Processing Efficiency to the Field
Advances in currency processing technology have significantly improved cash handling activities for law enforcement agencies, but even greater efficiencies can be achieved by leveraging advanced currency scanning capabilities in the field. This allows officers to easily bring a compact, portable currency scanner directly to the site of a sting or drug-seizure operation to quickly and accurately count the money and capture and record the serial numbers of each confiscated bill. What used to be done in hours or days at the station can now be done in minutes right at the crime scene – streamlining the process and eliminating any doubts regarding the chain of evidence.
“Using a light-weight portable unit allows our officers to bring the scanner into the field and count the currency right at the scene,” said Lt. Brian Stutsman of the Special Investigations Division of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office in Phoenix, Arizona. “If the seizure takes place during a banking day, we can deposit the currency immediately and start earning interest. This also avoids the time and manpower involved in taking the evidence to the warehouse.”
Additional functionality can be added to many currency scanning machines by connecting the device to external printers, laptops or keyboards in the field. For example, Maricopa County enhances the serial number capture feature in the field by attaching a small printer to the portable currency scanner to generate an on-scene print-out detailing the count and serial number by denomination and leaving it with the search record.
As law enforcement agencies are challenged to do more with less, investing in the latest currency handling technology eliminates hours of manual processing increases accuracy and frees up personnel to spend more time in the field.
1The Impact of the Economic Downturn on American Police Agencies, http://www.cops.usdoj.gov/Default.asp?Item=2602
About Cummins Allison
Cummins Allison is a global leader in developing technologies which count, sort and authenticate currency. The U.S.-based company has a 125-year heritage of leadership in technology and product innovation and currently serves the majority of financial institutions worldwide, as well as leading organizations in retail, casinos, law enforcement and government. The company holds more than 350 U.S. patents and has ongoing research and development (R&D) investments double the industry average. Cummins Allison is headquartered near Chicago, IL with R&D centers near San Diego, CA and Philadelphia, PA and wholly owned subsidiaries in Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany and France. The company also has an extensive sales and service network with more than 50 offices in North America and is represented in over 70 countries. For more information, visit www.cumminsallison.com.
Carol Moore – Vice President
Cummins Allison Corp.
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