Putnam City Schools serves over 20,000 students in three cities in Oklahoma. Since installing Genetec Clearance, the district’s police officers share evidence with the district attorney’s office, principals or police in little time without leaving their desk.
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Putnam City Schools is the fifth largest school district in Oklahoma, United States. The district serves over 20,000 students and employes 2,500 staff in three cities—Bethany, Warr Acres and northwest Oklahoma City. Over 30 schools provide education ranging from pre-kindergarten to grade 12, as well as alternative and special education programs. Putnam City Schools Police Department (PD) works hard to keep everyone safe. Officers monitor schools 24/7 and spend a lot of time conducting investigations and compiling digital evidence for cases. Often, this involves working closely with local agencies.
Putnam City Schools PD handles criminal cases, internal investigations, and local police requests. This means they’re always searching for video evidence. In the past, finding and sharing that evidence was time-consuming and inconvenient. The chief or assistant chief of police would locate the archived video from a database folder, reformat it, and save it on a USB stick. For safe-keeping, they put the stick in an envelope and stapled it to the case report. Then, they would hand-deliver the package to recipients. The risks were always a concern— the copy could get lost or end up in the wrong hands.
“We used to spend a lot of time burning copies of evidence and delivering them to whoever needed it. We didn’t realize how out-of-date that process was until we started using Genetec Clearance.”
Mark Stout, Chief of Police, Putnam City Schools
Today, Putnam City Schools is changing how its community shares information. That’s because the district police department upgraded to Genetec Clearance, a digital evidence management system. The fact that the cloud-based solution is compliant with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) was a big selling point. This means that the system meets government cybersecurity standards, so video and other digital evidence is always protected.
For officers, sharing evidence with the district attorney’s office, principals or police is easier and faster. Without leaving their desk, they email recipients a secure link to the case file and video. The whole process is now simple and worry-free. And the PD is helping to secure the wider community too. In one case, Chief Stout sent video to a Lieutenant from the City of Oklahoma PD. “The Lieutenant called me back immediately and said, ‘Just what kind of system do you guys have?!’ He had the evidence he needed in 30 minutes,” said Chief Stout.
Officers can add recipients to a case and provide each recipient with specific viewing or editing privileges. They receive an email with access to the case and digital evidence.
When opening a new case, officers use a built-in map to tag the school’s name and address and add keywords to describe the type of case. It’s an easy way for them to find evidence later.
Every time the video is viewed or a case is accessed, the activity is logged. With this level of auditing, chain of custody is never questioned.
There are no more physical copies of evidence lying around which can be lost or stolen. The PD has extra peace of mind knowing only those with privileges can view the files.
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