The array of new technologies available for public safety officers and agencies is growing rapidly. While the emergence of smarter and easier-to-use technology is welcomed, the wide variety of new tools can leave agencies overwhelmed. It can be a challenge to determine what solutions will best help officers do their jobs while protecting themselves and others from harm.
Here are four top technology trends we’ve identified that work seamlessly together to deliver a comprehensive system solution for public safety and security applications.
Video images have the unique ability to capture an event from an objective viewpoint and document that event for review and forensic investigation later. It’s the main reason body-worn cameras (BWC) have become such an essential tool for public safety officers. Not only do they record video evidence of criminal activity during an incident from the officer’s point of view, but they also provide accountability for the officers themselves. The best BWCs are integrated with a unified digital evidence management solution to ensure a verifiable chain of custody.
When choosing a BWC, you should look for a brand that delivers outstanding imaging quality, is highly durable, and is easy to deploy and use while in the field. It’s also most important that the solution has a long-lasting battery that is field swappable. Like all your field technology, the BWC should integrate seamlessly with your entire digital evidence system.
Video evidence capture solutions have become an essential element to improve the safety and efficiency of law enforcement and security field operations. In addition to BWCs, high definition in-car systems can document action all around officers’ vehicles to provide objective documentation of every event and encounter. To help ensure officers can focus on each individual situation at hand, the best in-car systems automatically initiate recording from a range of triggers, including vehicle speed, light-bar status, G-forces, doors opening and when a weapon’s lock releases. Through integration with a comprehensive digital evidence management solution, in-car camera systems also help to preserve the chain of custody for valuable incident data.
The ever-increasing volume of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for video recordings can place a tremendous burden on law enforcement agencies. The need to respond to these FOIA requests often consumes a significant amount of personnel time and bandwidth, not to mention is hard-pressed on budgets, diverting resources from critical responsibilities.
Because much of the video captured includes images of individuals whose privacy must be protected, agencies must also allocate time and resources for manual redaction of their faces from videos. Automated redaction software accomplishes this using a combination of artificial intelligence and machine learning technology to significantly reduce the manual effort of editing video files. This can reduce the time and expense required for redaction by up to 90%.
BWCs, in-car video systems and other evidence create massive amounts of data. Flexible storage solutions can help manage this data securely while providing several additional benefits. Many customers still have large investments in servers, storage, networking and staff supporting these systems. With a flexible approach, those investments can be used to maintain high performance, security and long-term independence from third-party service providers, while still providing advanced features for data sharing and collaboration. However, cloud service evidence management platforms for law enforcement can provide rapid scalability with predictable costs. They also maintain high cybersecurity standards to ensure data integrity, with backup at multiple locations in case of a local network or power outage or natural disaster. Advanced cloud service platforms can enable data sharing with authorized and authenticated identities, as well as fully documented chain of custody for evidence. All metadata is also preserved within the platform, making it easy to search for any evidence relating to a specific case, crime or individual.
Conclusion: Harnessing the Best Technology for Public Safety
Together, these four technologies comprise a complete end-to-end digital evidence solution for a myriad of public safety and professional security applications. BWCs, in-car video systems, redaction software and cloud storage solutions provide law enforcement and security professionals with the tools they need to do their jobs more efficiently and safely. When sourced from the right provider, these advanced technology solutions can work together as a single, seamlessly integrated system that creates a powerful resource to protect both agency personnel and the public and private communities they serve.