LOVES PARK (WIFR) -- The Loves Park Police have been using an evidence system that hasn't been updated in more than a decade, but with a new year comes much needed changes.
Loves Park Police have been using the same computer system to keep track of evidence since 1999, but after spending 13-thousand dollars on a state of the art computer database, the department is moving into the 21st century.
The new computer system called "The Beast" allows officers to search by names, look up stolen items easily, and help track patterns in crime. Instead of evidence being stored away in boxes labeled with magic marker, all evidence is scanned and given a digital code much like inventory at Walmart. That creates a digital chain of evidence. Officers started using the system last week.
Rodney Scott from the Loves Park Police said, "So there will be a chain of evidence that you'll be able to see at any given time. You'll be able to tell where that piece of evidence is if it's here at our department whether it's at the Illinois Crime Lab getting processed if it's at the SAO getting prepared for trial we'll know exactly where that's at a lot easier than we did before."
Even though the system cost 13-thousand dollars, the department thinks it will save at least that much money overtime. Officers can spend more time out on the streets rather than sorting through paperwork in the office.
Evidence for certain crimes has to be kept forever, like in murder cases. So someone will have to enter all of that stuff by hand so the database will be current.