Law enforcement agencies at every level - from small towns to large municipalities - require meticulous storage of weapons, evidence, mobile devices, and other important assets in order to ensure that cases move smoothly through the system. And when these materials are stored behind lock and key, securing the keys themselves becomes just as critical in the effort to prevent unauthorized access. Doing so not only keeps essential assets out of the wrong hands, but also promotes accountability, compliance, and efficiency within the agency.
The Morse Watchmans Headquarters illustrates how key control and asset management solutions can be applied within law enforcement agencies to create a verifiable chain of custody and facilitate heighted levels of security.
We invite you to tour the interactive Morse Watchmans Headquarters to view the various asset management and key control applications for law enforcement. From police fleet management to evidence storage, it’s all here.
Just hover over and click the desired area for more information.
Law enforcement personnel carry weapons to ensure their own safety as well as the safety of the public, making it essential to have a reliable system to manage and safeguard these crucial assets. Morse Watchmans’ asset management solutions for law enforcement are designed to provide comprehensive and intelligent control over agency weapons and ammunition when not in use. SmartKey® Locker Touch electronic locker systems ensure that munitions stored within can only be accessed by authorized personnel with all access activities automatically recorded. These access records can be viewed during later investigations or when conducting on-demand audits, allowing agencies to monitor and track weapon usage effectively.
To further enhance officer accountability, agencies can set up specific schedules for access to limit access to certain weapons to certain individuals based on qualifiers such as time of day, day of the week, job title, and more. This feature minimizes the risk of unauthorized access and misuse of firearms, adding an extra layer of security to the arsenal. If a weapon is not returned to its designated locker as scheduled, the system will also trigger automatic notifications via emails and text messages to supervisory personnel. This immediate alert system guarantees that any discrepancies or potential issues are promptly addressed.
Beyond weapons, there are many tools law enforcement officers rely on to carry out their duties both out in the field and back in the office. This includes radios, cell phones, laptops, body-worn cameras, breathalyzers, personal protective equipment, and more. Each of these pieces of equipment represents an investment by the agency, the loss of which directly impacts budgets and could potentially breach privacy laws. Protecting critical equipment is therefore not just a matter of law enforcement security, but one of regulatory compliance as well.
The SmartKey® Locker Touch asset management system from Morse Watchmans acts as a robust central repository for vital equipment, allowing law enforcement personnel to access equipment as needed while maintaining tight control over its usage. In this way, digital asset control prevents unauthorized individuals from gaining access to sensitive information and reduces the risk of liability from improperly secured materials.
Law enforcement asset management solutions also allow law enforcement agencies to optimize their resource allocation. By having a clear overview of the equipment in circulation and its usage patterns, agencies can make informed decisions about equipment distribution, replacement, and maintenance. This data-driven approach results in cost-effectiveness, minimizing the risk of unnecessary spending on new devices or repairs and ensuring that resources are available where and when they are needed most.
When handling evidence gathered while on the job, it is critical that law enforcement officers sustain a verifiable chain of custody for the evidence to both maintain the integrity of legal proceedings and protect the rights of all parties involved. Asset management and key control solutions can play a vital role in this process through their innate tracking and audit capabilities. These advanced systems provide law enforcement agencies with efficient tools to track and manage critical assets and evidence securely.
Evidence can be stored directly in electronic asset management solutions, such as the SmartKey® Locker Touch, restricting access to authorized personnel only. Only those granted access through the complementary law enforcement asset tracking software can gain access to the evidence they need and only that evidence, rather than receiving access to an entire evidence locker. When an officer needs access to a certain piece of evidence, they can even remotely request access from their direct supervisor or approved administrator for even further oversight. For evidence kept behind traditional lock and key, electronic key control systems provide similar protections for evidence access.
Asset and key management systems also provide necessary audit trails that log every system interaction, including who accessed an item and when. Such meticulous records can be invaluable during court proceedings, as they provide irrefutable evidence of the chain of custody, ultimately bolstering the credibility of the evidence presented.
Police agencies typically have a wide range of fleet vehicles under their care to support their law enforcement activities. These fleets may vary depending on the size and resources of the agency but likely include an array of keyed transport including cruisers, motorcycles, suspect transport vans, boats, ATVs, armored vehicles, and more. Working with and managing such an array creates a unique set of challenges for law enforcement agencies. Manual processes relating to scheduling vehicle maintenance to taking police car fleet inventory and assigning drivers can be both time consuming and inefficient without the right police fleet management software.
Key control systems are designed to secure and protect the keys to any and all law enforcement vehicles. They make it easy to get data on the current status of any cruiser, motorcycle, or other vehicle at any time. Administrators can see what officer is using which vehicle now, and who was using it on the date it was tagged as running a red light. Officers can also check at any time which vehicles are available for use, where they are, and where their keys are located.
By implementing a police fleet key management system, agencies can establish policies that automatically allocate vehicles based on specific criteria, such as mileage, fuel level, or priority. This automation reduces administrative burden and ensures fair distribution of vehicles among different departments. Furthermore, these systems can issue alerts if a critical vehicle key is removed or if unauthorized access is detected, bolstering police department security and preventing potential misuse or theft of fleet assets.
Law enforcement agencies are bound by a number of policies relating to the security of files and privacy of individuals. This includes the Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Policy, which is a set of guidelines designed to provide adequate security controls for the management, transmission, and storage of criminal justice information (CJI). At its core, CJIS compliance centers around protecting CJI and maintaining a secure chain of custody.
Key control solutions can help agencies meet this imperative and maintain compliance by enforcing strict law enforcement access control procedures. By controlling access to sensitive CJI files, and the devices that store them, these solutions offer a path to stronger regulatory compliance.
The KeyBank Touch, a comprehensive key control solution by Morse Watchmans, ensures the security of private files by providing a secure repository for a large number of file cabinet keys. Through robust access control measures, only authorized personnel can access the stored keys, preventing unauthorized individuals from reaching the confidential files. The system's tamper detection and audit trail features add an extra layer of protection by alerting administrators to potential security breaches and maintaining a detailed record of key access activities. With its durable construction and scalable design, the KeyBank Touch offers a reliable solution for law enforcement agencies managing extensive file cabinet systems, ultimately safeguarding private files and maintaining compliance with data protection policies like CJIS.
Though not to the scale of a corrections institution, many law enforcement precincts and offices have a need to secure suspects in their facilities for a period of time. This could be in a barred cell or behind a door, but almost always requires a key to gain access.
Key control solutions provide accountability in these situations by providing not only storage and security but tracking and organization. Key cabinets and the keys within them can be designated to only certain officers or other authorized users, and the system can denote when a key hasn’t been returned on time or if it was returned by an unauthorized user for that key. These systems can also be formatted for use with key rings, making it easy for officers to access all of their day-to-day keys, while still providing the security of key management.
These systems help to create an easily auditable system to ensure that officers are only accessing particular holding cells and that all keys are returned and secured properly throughout the facility. Automated key control software further provides reports within the system, identifying which keys are being removed when and by whom for greater employee accountability and liability reduction.
The rise in violent attacks in community spaces (movie theatres, schools, etc.) has led to a growing concern for public safety. To ease these concerns, many new security solutions have come forward with the intent of improving outcomes during the event of an emergency and, ultimately, saving lives. One such solution is the advent of emergency key boxes. These emergency key boxes are designed to be deployed outside of secured buildings and accessed only by first responders using a single master key. The idea is that the first responder approaching the scene uses the emergency key box master key to then access the key to the building stored inside, thus removing barriers to entry and improving response times.
Many communities have taken steps to implement emergency key box systems, but with many manufacturers producing their own unique master key, securing the various master keys to these boxes becomes critical for first responders such as law enforcement. Key control systems offer a viable solution, providing a centralized and secured location for emergency key box master keys as well as keys provided by local schools or other facilities with the intent of providing fast emergency access to critical organizations.
Morse Watchmans is also proud to offer their Emergency Key Grab (EKG) Kit for swift, secured first responder key access. Using the EKG Kit materials, any facility can ensure that emergency keys are securely housed and readily accessible to local first responders such as law enforcement. With the featured KeyWatcher Touch System, critical keys are securely stored within individual compartments with each key uniquely assigned and tracked. Responding officers are then able to swiftly retrieve required keys, such as those for locked buildings or secured areas, enabling them to enter and address any emergency situation promptly.