St. Louis, Missouri (August 2, 2012) – The inventors of eTWIST®, a barcode/RFID (Radio Frequency Identification)-based software which allows law enforcement officers to record and enter evidence data from a crime scene in the field, have been awarded a U.S. Patent US 8,220,711 B2, effective July 17, 2012. The patent is held by Primary Marking Systems Inc., a leading provider of product-tracking equipment for commercial clients headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri.
eTWIST® (Evidence Tracking With Information Solution Technologies,) enables law enforcement to automate evidence collection, increase operational efficiency, and ultimately, help increase conviction rates through more efficient evidence collection. By using a handheld mobile device, officers are able to electronically track and accurately record the seizure, custody, control, transfer, analysis, and disposition of criminal evidence while at the crime scene. Currently, most military and law enforcement agencies are using systems that require officers to hand-write evidence descriptions in the field, and then re-enter the information once they return to their desks. This technology makes the work of any law enforcement, military or private enterprise that tracks chain of custody easier, more immediate and with greatly increased detail and accuracy.
The eTWIST® technology utilizes Windows Mobile and/or HTLM 5-based software which can be integrated with a many types of mobile handheld computing devices. Using this system, law enforcement officers can quickly and easily record evidence at the crime scene and generate RFID (or bar code labels) to code the evidence at the time and place it was collected. Everything is stored on the handheld device, and the data can be imported into a computer or database in a matter of seconds.
Using the eTWIST® technology system, law enforcement officers can collect all of the information about a case, such as: names of the suspects and victims; evidence and remarks; witness testimony; photographs; as well as producing and scanning the associated bar codes all while at the crime scene,” says Tim McIntyre, eTWIST® inventor. Because the software works on a mobile platform, it can be used anywhere, anytime. Built-in features such as drop down menus, check boxes and auto-fill fields speed the process of data entry. Information collected in the field can be instantly downloaded into centralized computer systems, eliminating “double processing” of the information. “Our goal is to help law enforcement spend more time on patrol instead of paperwork.”
The eTWIST® technology also allows a law enforcement officer to identify evidence with high resolution photography and video, supported by a satellite geo-tracking technology. The use of a GPS (Global Positioning Satellite) location stamp helps evidence hold up in court, because it undisputedly verifies the location where and when the images were taken. “For example, a weapon can be photographed and the time, date, GPS position and the investigator’s I.D. number are recorded electronically,” adds McIntyre. “That information is associated with a bar code, which can be attached to an evidence container, thereby reducing the possibility of human error and increasing the chances of prosecution.”
When physical evidence is collected, eTwist® barbell-shaped bar code labels can be affixed to the piece of evidence. The labels and text are extremely durable, and weather proof. They can also be pre-printed with a precinct or crime unit name, so that the evidence source can be seen at a glance.
Today’s economic pressures require law enforcement agencies to do more with less,” says McIntyre. “There are fewer officers on the street, and departments are asked to handle increasing workloads. Technology based solutions can help improve efficiency, track evidence with greater speed, eliminate paperwork, and reduce errors. That adds up to saved tax dollars and better protection of citizens.”
Many police departments throughout the U.S. have been utilizing this high-tech tracking system with outstanding results. eTWIST® is also part of the teaching curriculum of the Department of Homeland Security’s sponsored National Center for Bio-Medical Research and Training at Louisiana State University Counter-Terrorism School to train law enforcement officers when collecting evidence in hazardous environments. Scientists are currently evaluating the potential interface of eTwist with robots to investigate hazardous chemical or nuclear emergencies. eTWIST® is equipped to collect CBRNE data (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive information.)
eTWIST® costs approximately $7,000, which includes product support. State and Local law enforcement agencies are able to apply for federal funding through the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant program or others to assist with purchasing technology. Estimates show the average police agency receives about 100 cases per week with 25 of those needing evidence tracking. It takes an average of 2 hours per case (50 hours per week for 25 cases) to input that information into computer systems or to hand-write the reports. Using eTWIST®, the return on investment is estimated to take only 5-8 weeks. Investments in technology can often save not only time, but tax dollars as well.
eTwist® technology can be purchased or licensed. At the current time, eTwist® is the only system of its kind in the marketplace.
About Primary Marking Systems, Inc.
A St. Louis-based company since 1997, Primary Marking Systems, Inc. has been defying boundaries as a Value Added Reseller (VAR) of data collection systems, accelerating and optimizing cross-business processes within and among companies and policing agencies throughout the United States. Using its sophisticated data collection capabilities, Primary Marking has provided leadership to help institutions transform fundamental business processes into collaborative businesses – enabling interactions inside and outside the company or agency to deliver a strategic advantage. Primary Marking System’s software, hardware and services are the catalyst for moving to this new dynamic collaborative dimension. For more information, visit www.primarymarking.com or call 314-344-9178 x 208 or toll free at 888-261-9178.