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May 13th, 2007

Before Embarking

The NYPD just put out an RFP (request for proposal) to computerize and overhaul their current evidence storage system. Before embarking on this huge, expensive, time-consuming project–it will probably takes years to complete–the responsiblity for storing evidence should be handed over to an independent group. I posted about this recently in response to a New York Post editorial.

Evidence should not be stored by an organization that has a vested interest in the outcome of the trial. As I said before, I’m embarrassed that this never occurred to me before, but if I wanted to put you in jail, for instance, would you be comfortable with me holding onto all the physical evidence that will decide your fate?

The NYPD shouldn’t start. They shouldn’t spend the money. This is not an accusation by the way, this is just common sense. I have to think of a likely organization to take something like this over. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is run under the Department of Health. Would it make sense for them to take it? Who else?

Here’s a Staten Island Advance article about the news.

(The picture was taken at one of the NYPD’s property clerk warehouses. Those barrels contain evidence from homicides.)

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