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APS Overview

The APS Automated Propery System® (APS), formerly known as APS Automated Pawn System®, is an initiative of the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) and is a Gov-to-Gov Solutions Consortium program.  APS was developed to provide communities a more effective means to manage the regulation of their pawn and secondhand dealers and to enable law enforcement agencies to share pawn/secondhand transaction information electronically.

Since implementing APS in Minneapolis in 1997, the Automated Property System® has:

  • Decreased and stabilized the cost of regulating pawn and secondhand dealers
    • Pawn and secondhand transaction reports up 13%
    • Employees working the pawn detail down 60%
  • Improved police service and effectiveness
    • All reported crimes with identifiable property loss are now assigned for investigation
    • APS automatically queries all reported items with serial numbers against NCIC – National Crime Information Center stolen article files
  • Enabled law enforcement agencies to share pawn/secondhand transaction information electronically, 7x24
    • Currently, over 260 law enforcement agencies in Minnesota and Wisconsin subscribe to APS
    • 40% of the stolen items recovered by Minneapolis investigators using APS were located in pawn and secondhand shops outside the city
  • Increased the recovery of stolen property
    • Number of items held as evidence up 235%
    • Over $100,000.00 Monthly - Estimated retail value of stolen property recovered using APS

The Automated Property System service is available to all law enforcement agencies.  Agencies that license pawn and/or secondhand shops will find APS is a proven, low cost way to effectively manage and regulate their shops, as well as all the transaction information their shops are required to report.  Law enforcement agencies use the customizable tools within the APS application to manage and regulate their licensed dealers according to local ordinance requirements, and to investigate reported crimes.  Pawn and secondhand dealers use the point-of-sale software of their choice, with minor customization required to accommodate APS transaction reporting requirements.

Agencies without any licensed pawn or secondhand dealers can use the comprehensive APS investigative functions to access all the transaction data in APS to solve more crimes – faster. Loss prevention specialists at colleges, universities, major retailers and insurance companies will find the custom investigative queries in APS, designed to protect all data-private information, invaluable investigative tools.
Novices and experts find the APS application intuitive and easy to use. Initial and ongoing training for investigators and regulators is free of charge for licensed users. The APS client application runs on all current 32-bit Windows operating systems and APS software upgrades are provided free of charge to licensed users.

The APS SQL Server database is designed to be a central repository for the sharing of pawn and secondhand transaction information. All transaction information is available to APS subscribers in accordance with applicable data privacy laws. The APS fileserver is located and maintained at the State of Minnesota and offered as an application service to all law enforcement agencies. Agencies in other regions of the country may wish to implement a similar APS service to share regional data .

Broad-based participation from agencies throughout the Midwest is encouraged. Currently, APS receives transaction information directly from over 190 stores throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin. Minneapolis stores and some St. Paul stores have been submitting transaction information to APS since 1997.  Currently, over 260 agencies have subscribed to APS to take advantage of its investigative features.