Congratulations! You have just been sworn in as a new chief of police. While you will have many opportunities to demonstrate your leadership abilities, ordering an evidence room audit can help set the tone of your administration. It immediately indicates that you value accountability, transparency, and integrity in yourself and your department. This piece focuses on how and why ordering an audit can advance your career and improve the operations of your new agency at the same time. 

1. Integrity

Your personal and professional integrity is now on display for all to see – both inside and outside the department. Ordering an audit shows you are holding your agency accountable for its actions in an area that directly impacts the criminal justice system and the people involved. It demonstrates that you value transparency and serves as an example of your leadership expectations. It also indicates that you are aware of, or want to be made aware, of the challenges your personnel face in today’s evidence room operations.

2. A Learning Opportunity

Depending on your career path, you might need to become more familiar with all the fine details of evidence room operations. Conducting an audit is an excellent way to remind you or make yourself familiar with its operations, laws, standards, and best practices regarding evidence handling and storage. An audit should uncover operational deficiencies and other issues affecting your personnel’s job performance. One example that may surprise you is the sheer volume of evidence stored within your evidence room and its effect on efficient operations.

3. Improving Efficiency and Morale

As noted above, the results of an evidence room audit will identify issues that hinder personnel efficiency, like a lack of necessary equipment, supplies, or space. 

Experienced evidence room personnel know their jobs and do their best with what they have. It’s important to mention that your audit should be presented as a positive step to identify ways to improve and make your personnel’s job more efficient and easier. You may be unable to address every issue immediately, but you can start preparing a plan to do so. 

These personnel could be considered long-lost heroes in many agencies. Often, they work in a facility removed from the central portions of the building and, by its very nature, are isolated from other personnel except for a window to transfer evidence in and out. Many, if not most, evidence rooms are cluttered and can be disorganized due to the amount of evidence stored within them. A new chief who is genuinely interested in making improvements that benefit these long-lost heroes is bound to improve the morale of the personnel assigned there.

4. Risk Mitigation

As a new chief, you must come up to speed on how your department functions. A comprehensive evidence room audit is one process that allows you to accomplish that quickly via an established process – one that’s hopefully been routine for your department over the years. If discrepancies or problems are found, it’s vital for your career and your department’s integrity to be aware of these issues. This knowledge allows you to rectify problems before they become major and taint your career.

5. Community Relations

Another benefit of an immediate audit is improving or maintaining positive community relations. It shows that you believe in transparency and hold your department to the highest standards. It can foster trust between you, your agency, and the community you serve. Taking steps towards building trust within your community is imperative for a new police chief.

6. Legal Compliance

The standards and best practices that govern evidence room operations are much more than guidelines. Included are state laws that must be adhered to preserve evidence integrity and ensure it remains admissible in court. An audit ensures that your personnel follow all the applicable evidentiary laws. 

Discrepancies can reveal training deficiencies or even the need for proper infrastructure, modern equipment, and basic supplies – all of which can affect your personnel’s ability to remain compliant with the law.

7. Audit Option

Consider having an outside organization conduct your audit. There are many private companies located across the country offering this service. They employ law enforcement evidence management experts, some still on the job and others who have retired. These experts have years of hands-on experience conducting comprehensive evidence room audits for numerous agencies. If you have inherited a department with a history of problems in the evidence room – or even if that’s not the case – contracting with an outside organization ensures transparency and accountability. It also demonstrates that you mean business regarding your department’s integrity. 


A new police chief accepts the responsibility for their department’s operations, and learning how it functions is vital. One way they can accomplish this is by ordering an audit of their evidence room. Doing so demonstrates leadership, transparency, and accountability. The results of an audit may uncover discrepancies that must be addressed immediately or serve as a roadmap to more efficient operations. It demonstrates to the public that the department will be transparent in its operations, which can increase public confidence and trust while mitigating the risk of litigation. While there are many professional benefits for a new chief, ordering an audit demonstrates leadership that will also benefit the department’s operations and community.


Fortress Plus Solutions provides safe, secure, documented transportation, handling, and storage of evidence and property for the long term. If your items require special storage conditions – we provide that. In addition, we offer evidence room audits to help law enforcement maintain best practices and accurate and up-to-date inventory records. In our blog, we post informative articles about privatized long-term storage and the auditing process. To learn more about our services, click here.