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When you need blank rolls for your artistic barcode labels, come to the source for full size 5" or 8" diameter rolls - UPrintLabels.com

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Labels At the Scene of the Crime:

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The Case for Thermal Labels in Law Enforcement

If you like police drama, you’ve seen it hundreds of times.  Detectives scour the crime scene, carefully removing key pieces of evidence and sealing them away in plastic bags.  In the real world, evidence collected at the crime scene could be stored for decades.  History has shown that justice is served when evidence is labeled and catalogued with precision.  Mislabeled and/or misplaced evidence has enabled criminals to walk to free and the innocent to languish in prison.   

Police departments across the United States are turning to mobile thermal labels printing technology to improve evidence labeling, analysis, cataloging, and storage systems.  Wireless direct thermal label printers print barcodes on blank labels at the scene of the crime.  Detailed evidence information from the collection site is coded to the item’s barcode.

types of portable barcode labels scannersBecause thermal transfer labels are more durable than direct thermal labels, they are often the barcode labels of choice once the evidence reaches the storage facility. Desktop thermal transfer printers are used to print additional barcodes on blank labels.  The items are tagged and entered into locked storage.  Label quality is very important for items that may eventually be used in a trial.  Faded, peeling or smudged labels appear sloppy and disorganized to a judge or jury potentially prejudicing them against the police department.  Because thermal transfer printing is crisp and precise and the blank label media is so robust, thermal transfer labels help project a professional image.  Another advantage to blank labels used in thermal printers is their ability to easily attach to irregular shapes.   

When it’s time to retrieve a piece of evidence for trial, barcode labels are scanned and “checked out.”  A property officer will also scan their personal barcode into the system to record custody of the item.  When the officer returns with the item, he or she will scan their ID bar code and the item’s barcode label to record transfer of custody and re-admission of the item.

Because crime scenes can produce hundreds of evidence samples, thermal label printers need to be able to handle large blank label rolls at a fast pace.  Thermal printers are equipped to handle this challenge as even low-cost models are able to print on blank labels at a pace of six inches per second.

Another common use of thermal printing and barcode labeling by police departments is the labeling and cataloguing of lost and stolen property.  Thermal printers print barcodes on blank labels that reference valuable information related to an item’s retrieval date and location.  This use of thermal blank labels can not only convict a thief but help reunite a victim with their lost wallet, jewelry or electronics.



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