The police shooting of an unarmed black man, the ensuing protests, and the local police officials’ response to control these protest using military-issued equipment in Ferguson, Missouri, has sparked a national debate over the Pentagon’s controversial “1033 program.” The program equips local and state police departments with military surplus weaponry.

With the media digging into the 1033 program, the public is learning about the 145 law enforcement agencies that the Pentagon has banned from receiving surplus military weapons and supplies. According to the Cox Washington Bureau, in all cases, the departments were suspended after losing high-powered weapons – M14’s, M16’s and assault rifles. There have also been occurrences of missing .45-caliber pistols and shotguns.

Certainly this is a list which no department wants to be on. Yet, while many departments have avoided the unwanted publicity, they have had incidents where weapons have been lost, misplaced or stolen. Inventory control of weapons and auxiliary equipment remains antiquated in countless law enforcement agencies still relying on error prone manual tracking logs. With missing police weapons taking center stage in the news, it may be a good time to re-evaluate your agencies inventory control system.

If your agency is interested in improving the tracking and securing of weaponry and other critical assets, LEID Products has proven technology which can provide full accountability. Expensive? Well that depends on how you look at it. If a weapon goes missing and ends up being used by a criminal, the civil liability of a lost item can be extremely costly. Beyond monetary cost, the reputation of the police department suffers indefinitely.

LEID Products BACS SystemLEID Products’ BACS System is a field proven inventory control and asset management system used by federal, state, and local agencies, as well as private sector clientele throughout the country. BACS eliminates long-standing paper log methods, saving valuable employee time and resources while providing easily accessed and credible electronic tracking reports. Added benefits of the BACS Asset Management software include tracking equipment maintenance requirements and officer firearm training qualifications. See the ‘How BACS Works’ article for details on the sLEID-BACS-28ystem.

A white paper, written by former Waterford, Michigan Deputy Chief of Police, Dale LaCroix, details the benefits his department realized after implementing the BACS System. For LaCroix’s department, the BACS System cost was recouped in 18 months. Cost savings were realized through labor savings, better maintenance of equipment, as well as the ability to have multiple officers share equipment. Dale noted in the conclusion of the paper that the savings related to limiting liability exposure, while they may be immeasurable, could be the greatest savings of all.

 

Here is an excerpt from the white paper

The departments inventory control of weapons and auxiliary equipment was improved greatly with the BACS system over the old sign out system. Every department I know has had incidents where items are lost for a time and turn up later or sometimes never at all, and no one seems to know what really happened. The civil liability of a lost item can be extremely costly.

The BACS System was also built with an equipment maintenance application within the software, along with the ability for an officer to tag an item for maintenance when returning an item at the end of a shift. Making sure equipment is working properly and maintained on schedule could save a department from an embarrassing situation at best to a costly civil action should a piece of equipment not work properly when deployed.

Once the system was installed there were no losses of equipment. In addition, repair times were reduced and equipment uptime increased as damaged equipment was reported immediately so repairs could be made timely and efficiently.

“NO DEPARTMENT SHOULD BE WITHOUT THIS TYPE OF SYSTEM”

The initial cost of the system for our department was more than paid for with only the time savings from supervisor’s wages in just eighteen months. There were also added cost savings in the ability to have multiple officers share equipment in lieu of purchasing equipment for each officer. The cost savings in the liability area are hard to put real numbers to, but could be the greatest savings of all. It is my opinion that no department should be without this type of system, and in reality, most cannot afford not to have this system.

To down load the entire white paper, click here.