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Settings \ Organization \ General \ Auto Disposition

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The Auto Disposition feature of the SAFE program is an optional function that allows an Organization to automate the typically paper-driven process of item disposition. Instead of relying on printed paper, you will allow the SAFE program to automatically assign a follow-up date (you supply the parameters in setup) to each Case. When that review date arrives, an automated task will be assigned to the Case Officer, on behalf of the evidence custodian, advising that the case is up for review. That task will then be used and recorded so that all discussion back and forth will be used to help move an Item towards disposition. Through this process, far more evidence can be disposed of than normal manual or paper-driven processes.

The Goal

The entire goal of the auto disposition system is to help an agency get rid of as much evidence as they bring in on an annual basis. One item goes out for every item that comes in! How does auto disposition work, step by step (in very simplistic terms)

  • 1.       Every case entered into the system is automatically assigned a follow-up date (legacy cases already in the system will have to be assigned a review date as part of the startup process).
  • 2.       When the Review Date = today, the system will automatically generate a Task to the Case Officer (Task assignee) to review the Case and all Items.
  • 3.       Task Assignee will review the Task and Case and supply a response (A and B below)
    • a.       The Task Assignee suggests that you can’t dispose of items and you change the review date to a date further in the future (you are done with this case at this point and you can close the task).
    • b.       The Task Assignee suggests you can dispose of items
      • i.       If you only need permission from Task assignee to dispose of evidence, then proceed to Step 4.
      • ii.       If you need further permissions to dispose of evidence, then you edit the Task and assign to the new user. Go back to step 3 at this point.
  • 4.       Item(s) that have been approved for disposition will need to be tagged.
  • 5.       When it comes time to doing a disposition, you are going to Search for a list of items based on a Tag and export that list to Microsoft Excel.
  • 6.       Collect all approved Items from storage locations.
  • 7.       Dispose of Items and mark disposed in the system.

This list is for the general audience and not specific for every instance! Enabling Auto Disposition To enable the Auto Disposition feature, go to Settings > Organization > General > Auto Disposition (Tab)

This list is for the general audience and not specific for every instance!

To view a 5 minute video on Auto Disposition, click here: Auto Disposition Video

To view a 1 hour indepth video on Auto Disposition, click here: Auto Disposition Video

Enabling Auto Disposition

To enable the Auto Disposition feature, go to Settings > Organization > General > Auto Disposition (Tab)

Click the Edit button (bottom of page) and turn on the Auto Disposition slider.

Once enabled, there are a couple of other options that must first be handled.

In the Case Review area (top of the screen) you might see a number of Cases that are open in your system that either:

  • 1. Have no items
  • 2. Every single one of the items in those Cases has been disposed of.

These Cases should be closed as the system will send a Case Review email for any open Cases. Click the Close 'x' Cases button and apply a Case Closed date. Upon submittal, all of these Cases will be updated to an Inactive/Closed status and no emails will be sent.

You may also click the Recalculate Cases to Dispose button to get an updated count of any open Cases with no items, or every single one of the items in those Cases has been disposed of. After receiving an updated count, you may wish to close those Cases.

Note: A closed Case is simply ‘closed’ in the system as denoted by the Open/Closed Status slider at the top of the Case View. If a Case has been ‘closed’, that Case has NOT been deleted from the system. The Case is still there and can be reopened at any time by an Org Admin by simply editing the Case and moving the Open/Closed Status slider at the top of the Case View to Open.

You may also wish to view the Cases with Review Date in the past and without open Tasks., but we would suggest that you first close out any Cases and then do this.

Case Review Section

The Case Review section at the top of the page will show the current status of all Cases in your system. If this is the first time you have enabled this feature, all of your Cases may have NO Review Date. You will want to click the Re-Distribute Case Review Dates button to add Review Dates to all Cases.

Note: To get the system started, you are going to want to add a review date to all legacy Cases as the Auto Disposition feature, by default, will not send out notifications on Cases without a Follow-Up Date.

The Update Cases page will allow you to choose what type of cases are going to be updated and what date range is applied.

No Date selection means you will only update cases that do NOT have a date.

Past Due selection means you will only update cases that have a Past Due date which is used in case you decide to reorganize after you initially set all values, IE you got behind and wanted to start over.

Upcoming selection means you will only update cases that have a Review Date that is in the future.

All selection means that you will update all Cases in the system regardless of Review Date or not.

Distribute Between is where you select the date range of all of your follow- up dates. Select a date range that is adequate enough so that too many tasks are not being too quickly sent. If you have 5,000 cases and you select a 1-year distribution range, you will average almost 14 cases per day going out for review. It will distribute evenly over the time selected.

Note: You do NOT want tasks to go out to quickly. Users will ignore Tasks if they come to fast.

Review Date Notes can be used to apply a note to all Cases en masse.

Order By Offense Date will set a Review Date in order of Offense Date meaning that the oldest offenses will be sent for review first. In most cases you will allow the cases to be auto-arranged over the time.

Your Auto Disposition tab in Settings might also have an option to Close any open Cases that do not contain any Items or any Items that are active. Since the Auto Disposition system will notify a Case Officer of any open cases, this is an option for Org Admins to close Cases that should be closed anyway. The Cases to be closed will be displayed in a list (shown). Simply choose a time and date and click Close Cases. If you would like to Display a Case before Closing it, simply click the Case number of the Case you would like to look at.

The field for ‘A Reviewer (email from)’ is used to assign who/whom the Task email is sent from. This is the User/Group that all Tasks will be assigned on behalf of. This will typically be the evidence custodian. You may prefer to allow a Group in the Auto Disposition 'A Reviewer email from' area.  This allows all assigned Tasks to be sent on behalf of a Group instead of an individual User. This is particularly valuable in organizations with more than one evidence custodian.

To set up a Group, go to Settings \ User Groups, and you may Add one in that area.

Note: If a User is Deactivated, an email will still be generated and sent to that User’s email address (if they are the Case Officer). You may wish to update that email address to reflect that User’s Supervisor’s email address instead. In addition to that, if the Auto Dispo Widget has been turned on, you may see Overdue Tasks accumulating if no one is responding to them.

By default, only Org Admins will have access to Disposition Data. If you want to allow other groups to View, Create or Update the disposition data, you should do this in Settings \ Permission Groups. Your choices will then be shown in Auto Disposition.

In Auto Dispo:
View = User is able to View the Review Date and Review Date Notes AFTER a Case has been entered (NOT during initial Case Entry).
Create = User is able to View AND EDIT the Review Date and Review Date Notes DURING initial Case Entry).
Update = User is able to Update/Edit the Review Date and Review Date Notes AFTER a Case has been entered IF the User has ALSO been granted Permissions to Edit Cases.

The final step in setting up Auto Disposition is to assign ‘Days to Follow Up’. Users who do not have access to setting up a Review Date, after entering a Case, these days will automatically be added to today’s date to determine the next Review Date. So in this example, if I am adding an Arson Case, my Next Review Date will automatically be set to today's date + 180 days.

Note: Once this system in enabled, every Case will automatically be assigned a Next Follow Up Date.
In fact, you will NOT be able to save the Auto Disposition Setup page until all Offense Types are given an 'x' number of Days to follow up

Case Entry being Disabled

If you see the Case entry is disabled message on the Case entry screen, one of your Offense Types does not have an 'x' number of Days to follow up for that Offense. To clear, go back to Settings > Organization > General > Auto Disposition and make sure you have a value greater than 0 for all Offense types.

Case Entry or Edit

When entering a Case, there will be two new fields (Review Date & Review Date Notes). These fields will only show if you are an Org Admin or if your Permission Group has been granted access to these fields.

Note: You will want to limit these fields and who has access to them. By default, only Org Admins will have access and that should be more than enough for most. If you open access to these fields you might find that Users are kicking the Review Date too far in the future as to avoid having to deal with the review.

Case Open or Close Option

There is now an option on the Case entry or edit page to Open or Close a Case. The importance of this option is that items can’t be added to a Closed Case and you can’t Close a Case with undisposed items. This will help ensure that only open Cases are receiving new Items and valid follow-up dates.


On the day that the Case comes up for review (Review Date = today), the system will automatically create a Task for the Case Officer(s). The Case Officer(s) will also receive an email that the task was assigned. The Case Officer(s) will use this Task to communicate information about the Case. Of course, this information could be just about anything. For more information on Tasks and how to use tasks, see the Tasks area of the instruction guide.

  • Push a Case further down the road - If the User(s) responds to the Task and suggests that there is nothing to do at this time, then update the Case Review date to a future date. On that future date, another Task will be sent out asking for an update. This process will continue until the Case is closed.
  • Tags - If the User(s) suggests that it is ok to get rid of Item(s) in a Case, you are going to want to Tag that item for destruction. You will edit the individual Item or Mass Update many Items and apply a Tag. The Tag text can be anything you choose but this Tag will be used later for searching.

Mass Updating a Case SAFE now allows for the Mass Updating of Case information to include the new Auto Disposition fields. To Mass Update Cases, go to Search > Cases and select one or more Cases and then go to Actions > Mass Update Case.

Mass Updating an Item Just like a case, you can also mass update many items. Select your items from an item list and go to Actions > Mass Update Item.

Auto Disposition Template Widget

To enable the Auto Disposition Widget, go to your Dashboard > Add Widget (menu) and add the Auto Dispo Template Widget. This Widget will show updated statistics for all the Cases in your system and Cases based on the Next Review Date. If you just turned on the widget, then all of your cases should have a follow-up dates in the future. As these review dates come and go, you will begin to see these statistics shift.

Note: You want to avoid a large backlog of Cases in the 31+ days past due or 1 to 30 days past due. If these numbers get too large you will begin to stall the process. If you get behind, go back and reorganize Cases and start over (only reorganize past due cases).

Warning - Resistance ahead!

If you are attempting to turn on Auto Disposition for your agency, be aware you may receive a certain level of resistance and complaints. This is especially true if you are going from a system where people generally are not required to do anything, to a system where people are held accountable for the evidence they submit. Make sure you have backing from command and that your Users can’t just ignore these requests for updates on Cases. If they can just ignore your request, the entire process is doomed before you get started.

Keep in mind it may take roughly 90 days to build up a habit. Don’t quit after two weeks because you get some complaints. Keep with it until you establish a discipline. After 90 days this will become ‘part of the process’ and your Users will settle down. Remember that you are changing the way you do business, it takes time.

More information regarding Auto Disposition can be found by listening to our webinar: SAFE Sessions 4 – Auto Disposition @