Providing evidence disclosure to the Crown Attorney’s Office in an electronic format.
The initiative has several objectives:
E-Disclosure unit of the Toronto Police Service (TPS), Homicide Squad
The Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General, Toronto Regional Crown Attorney’s Office is involved.
This program was initiated in March 2008 and its development is ongoing.
In part this initiative came about as a result of concerns over the rising cost of paper for photocopying and the increased costs associated with the collection and dissemination of evidence disclosure for larger prosecutions.
The set-up costs included the cost of a software application (Adobe Acrobat Professional), training for users and the cost of high-capacity scanning units to digitize the material not already in electronic formats.
A pilot project was implemented in the Detective Services pillar (Homicide Squad, Sex Crimes Unit and Financial Crimes Unit). Once the pilot was assessed and approved for implementation by all stakeholders, the e-disclosure process was implemented in all other operational business units in the TPS.
The key outcomes of the E-disclosure initiative include a high satisfaction rate on the part of all stakeholders, meeting its objectives where it is fully deployed. Hard material costs have been reduced and hours previously dedicated to preparation have been saved and have been redirected to other efforts toward public safety.
The success of this initiative was publicized during the initial training session provided to all TPS officers. The Crown Attorney’s office is also involved in training its staff and publicizing the success of the E-disclosure initiative. Internal messaging from the Deputy Chief who championed the initiative both to users and to senior management contributed to compliance and commitment.
An evaluation has been completed using a customer satisfaction survey and the qualitative outcome was a 90% satisfaction rating from all stakeholders. A quantitative review has identified a savings in paper costs and service costs for photocopiers. An annualized account of cost efficiencies has yet to be conducted.