Electronic Evidence Disclosure (Synopsis)

Toronto Police Service

Description: The Toronto Police Service was concerned about the rising cost of meeting evidence disclosure requirements. Significant resources are required, including officer time, paper for photocopying, and the costs associated with collecting and disseminating evidence disclosure for larger prosecutions. The Toronto Police Service’s Electronic Evidence Disclosure initiative seeks to provide disclosure material to courts in a more timely and efficient manner by preparing evidence disclosure in an electronic format.

This initiative was implemented with the involvement of the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General and the Toronto Crown Attorney’s Office. It began as a pilot project in March 2008 within the Detective Services pillar (which includes the Homicide Squad, the Sex Crimes Unit and the Financial Crimes Unit). Following the success of the pilot, the initiative was implemented in all the other operational business units in the Toronto Police Service. The initiative is led by the E-Disclosure Unit of the Toronto Police Service Homicide Squad.
Objective: The Electronic Evidence Disclosure initiative seeks to reduce the time taken for evidence disclosure to get to the Crown Attorney’s office, improve efficiencies in the quality and standardization of evidence disclosure, and reduce the time spent by criminal investigators copying and delivering hard copy materials.
Outcomes: The Electronic Evidence Disclosure initiative is meeting its objectives where it is fully deployed. Fewer hours are required for preparation, and officers have re-directed their time toward other public safety efforts. An evaluation has been completed using a customer satisfaction survey, and the qualitative outcomes found a 90% satisfaction rating from all stakeholders, including the Crown and court administration. A quantitative review identified a savings in paper costs and continuous service costs for photocopiers. An annual account of cost efficiencies is being developed.
Resources: The set-up costs for this initiative were approximately $600,000 and included the cost of a software application (Adobe Acrobat Professional), training for users and 28 high-capacity scanning units to digitize the material not already in electronic formats.
Province: Ontario
Record Entry Date: 2013-08-01
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