One of the things that a law enforcement agency may run out of very quickly is a place to put evidence. You also deal with a budget that is never big enough. Therefore, it makes sense to get as much room as possible while spending the very least. One of the best ways to do this is to store vertically. The other thing about doing what you do is that you never know what evidence is going to look like when it comes to your place of work. What you really need is an industrial shelving system that strong and has a lot of room for whatever you might be handed. A pallet rack storage system might be perfect for what you need. A standard pallet rack can handle 2500 pounds of product. It should be mentioned that a pallet rack can hold more than that but they are not as commonly seen as the standard pallet rack sizes. You must also keep in mind that we are talking about uniformly distributed weights which, in all fairness, works well for most people. However, you might find some times when this is not what you need but for the most part, standard pallet rack will work for your use case.
Another question you are going to have to ask yourself, if you are getting a pallet rack, is what kind of decking you will use for the shelf levels. The most common type of decking is the wire mesh deck. Wire mesh decking can also hold 2500 pounds of uniformly distributed weight. It also allows sprinkler systems to spread their water all the way to the bottom of your rack. A plus if there is ever a fire in your evidence room. If you get smaller items then it makes sense to have plastic storage bins in order to hold those products in place. The wire mesh decks are good at holding things up to the size of a smaller cell phone. More modern phones are larger and will not fall through but smaller older models may. A plastic storage bin will solve this problem.
There are a few products that you may want to consider for safety reasons. If you have a warehouse big enough then you probably have a forklift. The problem with forklifts is that they are easy to mishandle because people get used to using them. It is this comfortability with the machine that brings possibilities of accidents. Accidental contact between a pallet rack and a forklift can bring down a lot of product on somebody. We are talking about 2500 pounds worth of products or evidence. Obviously, this is something that you want to avoid. Your first defense against this is safety clips. Many pallet racks come with safety clips included. They are good products that do what they say they will do. The problem is that the safety clip tends to get moved around when things get put on a shelf. If it is moved around enough then it will become loose and the whole shelving unit will be unstable. The bad part about this is that the shelving unit on the pallet rack may not look like it has a problem. In fact, the safety clip will probably look like it does not have a problem either. It is this fact that is so dangerous. If you want to avoid this problem then backing up your safety clip with a safety pin is a good idea. It might seem like a little bit of overkill but when you consider that a rack-level can hold 2500 pounds of uniformly distributed weight then you can see why you would want to have double the protection.
We did talk about the forklift in the previous paragraph and how a collision can cause accidents. If you want to defend yourself, or your coworkers, against these then you need to consider getting column guards or RAMguards for your pallet racks. A column guard or RAMguard is designed to take the impact from a forklift and leave the structural integrity of the pallet rack intact. Of course, this means that you have to place your column guard in a place where it would be more likely to be contacted instead of the pallet rack. Luckily, most of the column guards in RAMguards in the marketplace are designed to cover a good portion of a pallet rack. If you wanted to be totally safe then you could buy enough column guards or RAMguards to completely cover your pallet rack to the point of common sense and legal limits. However, we do have to note that most companies who have column protection usually only have two of these on their racks. There is one on the left side and there is one on the right side. However, it is up to you how much protection you think you and your colleagues need against a rack full of evidence or products falling on you or them.
Another thing you may want to consider for your warehouse is to get a modular office. The modular office is an office that can be moved by a forklift or in some cases a pallet jack. A mobile office can be used for any purpose or any style of room that exists in regular life except for those with gas for cooking or sewage hookups. A modular office will have an air conditioning/heater and electrical hookup. You can use this office as a storage, break room, or an administrative office, or if you just want to manager to be in the room with an eye on all the product. Notwithstanding, if you find your needs change then you can move the mobile office to across the warehouse or change its usage as you see fit.
If you have considered adding a second level to your warehouse then you may want to hold off on looking for a way to add it on to your building. You can get a mezzanine work platform instead. You can use that work platform to store your evidence or products. The best part about a mezzanine work platform is that it is not attached to a building therefore you can move it around within reason. We say within reason because many of these mezzanine work platforms are custom-made to fit into the warehouses where they reside. It is the reason that you do not see many mezzanine work platforms being sold as used. They, tend to be very individualized for the space where they are used. However, you could theoretically move one of these mezzanine platforms and have it fit somewhere else. It just is unlikely. You could plan it out from the beginning so that you could make a mezzanine work platform that will fit in almost any place in your warehouse.
You are very busy because you are an law enforcement agent. The last thing you want to worry about is how to design your warehouse to hold all the evidence that will come to or that you already possess. If you do not want to handle it on your own then we can definitely assist you with planning how your workflow and pallet racks should be set up in your place of work. We can do a CAD warehouse layout that will allow you to plan out your warehouse so that it all makes sense and it runs efficiently. You can even make plans, in the future, to have a modular office or a mezzanine work platform put in at a later date.