• By Mustafa Khan
  • Last updated: November 7, 2023
  • 4 minute read

What can a Digital Evidence Management System Do for Your Police Force

Police Departments rely on digital evidence management systems to analyze problem areas and timely deploy resources to ensure public and officer safety.

In the constantly evolving world of law enforcement, police departments rely on digital evidence management systems to analyze problem areas and timely deploy resources to ensure public and officer safety.

Broadly speaking, digital evidence is sourced from handheld and wired devices such as phones, tablets, desktops, and laptops, as well as the Internet.

The plus is that such a massive amount of data has improved criminal justice proceedings. Still, there is a downside — sourcing, storing, searching, and circulating data while ensuring it doesn’t get tempered is a complex process.

Let’s paint a clearer picture: body-worn camera footage of 10 officers amounts to around 1.739 PB annually, whereas this number can surpass 295.8 PB per annum with 200 officers. To put things in perspective – 1 PB, i.e., Petabyte equates to 100,000 Gigabytes.

The second challenge is searching for specific evidence without delay with its integrity intact because mishandled evidence is inadmissible. Remember, this must be done while ensuring the chain of custody.

A Digital Evidence Management System (DEMS) can seamlessly handle all this. These AI-backed systems allow bulk upload of unlimited files from various sources, quick discovery, controlled access, and a lot more.

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What is the Role of Digital Evidence?

These technological advancements have produced a wealth of digital evidence, including text messages and audio and video recordings. This evidence holds the potential to help solve intricate criminal cases.

According to an article published by the U.S Department of Justice,

"With digital devices becoming ubiquitous, digital evidence is increasingly important to investigating and prosecuting many types of crimes."

In this blog post, we aim to explore the crucial role of Digital Evidence Management Systems (DEMS) in empowering your police force.

We will discover the benefits of DEMS for different roles within police forces and highlight key features that are tailored to the unique needs of police departments.

What is digital evidence management?

A Digital Evidence Management System (DEMS) is a software designed to efficiently acquire, store, analyze, and share digital evidence.

It is often used by police forces, legal entities, and organizations dealing with various types of digital data. The right DEMS can help ensure the integrity, compliance, and accessibility of digital evidence for investigations and legal processes.

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How do you collect digital evidence?

Collecting digital evidence involves a systematic approach to protect its legal integrity.

Here are a few critical steps:

  • Maintain the chain of custody.
  • Create copies of digital evidence.
  • Document metadata.
  • Store digital evidence in specialized software. (Digital Evidence Management Systems).
  • Preserve evidence securely through a CJIS-compliant DEMS. (Click here to learn about the importance of CJIS compliance for police).
  • Document the process.
  • Adhere to legal and data privacy regulations like GDPR (Explore its relationship with the police here).
  • Prepare clear reports.
  • Present evidence in court.
  • Follow appropriate evidence disposal protocols.

The process involves the participation of various vital roles, including police officers, investigators, detectives, and prosecutors.

What are the challenges faced by different Police Personnel?

According to a U.S.-based prosecutors and investigators survey, digital evidence poses challenges due to rapid technological changes, communication needs, and data privacy concerns, impacting admissibility and case resolution.

Here are key challenges specific roles like police officers, investigators, detectives, and prosecutors face when handling digital evidence.

Roles

Challanges

Police Officers

  • Limited Training: Frontline police officers may have limited training in digital evidence management, making recognizing and properly handling digital evidence at crime scenes challenging.
  • Evidence Identification: Identifying relevant digital evidence during initial investigations can be difficult, as officers may not always know what to look for.

Investigators

  • Digital Evidence Overload: Investigators often deal with large volumes of digital evidence from various sources, such as surveillance cameras and smartphones. Sorting through this massive amount of data can be overwhelming.
  • Time Constraints: Investigations must progress swiftly, and the time required to analyze digital evidence can lead to delays in case resolution.

Detectives

  • Technical Expertise: Detectives may lack the in-depth technical knowledge required for advanced digital evidence management and may need specialized experts or tools.
  • Data Privacy Concerns: Balancing the need for evidence with privacy rights is a challenge. Detectives must ensure they collect proof legally and ethically.

Administrative Roles

  • Managing Digital Evidence: Administrative staff must efficiently collect and store digital evidence, ensuring its accessibility to authorized personnel.

 

These challenges highlight the need for a centralized Digital Evidence Management System (DEMS). You’d be surprised that each challenge can be addressed with a single solution!

Intrigued? Read ahead to learn just how.

How are challenges tackled with a Digital Evidence Management System (DEMS)?

A Digital Evidence Management System (DEMS) plays a crucial role in addressing the unique challenges faced by police officers, investigators, detectives, and administrative functions.

Here's how:

For Police Officers

A DEMS offers user-friendly interfaces and simplified workflows, allowing frontline officers to manage digital evidence even with limited training.

It assists in evidence identification by providing categorization tools and search capabilities, helping officers recognize and collect relevant data more effectively.

For Investigators

A DEMS streamlines handling large volumes of digital evidence by automating data ingestion, indexing, and search functions.

This expedites the process, ensuring investigators can quickly access and analyze crucial evidence, reducing delays in case resolution and helping manage digital evidence overload.

For Detectives

A DEMS is designed to be user-friendly, requiring minimal technical expertise. Additionally, it enforces strict access controls and audit trails, addressing data privacy concerns and ensuring evidence collection complies with legal and ethical standards.

For Administrative Roles

A secure DEMS offers centralized management features, making it easy for administrative staff to efficiently organize, store, and retrieve digital evidence.

It provides limited and restricted sharing capabilities, ensuring only authorized personnel can view or manage digital evidence, thereby maintaining its integrity and accessibility.

Ready to empower your police force with efficient evidence management? Explore VIDIZMO's comprehensive features.

Contact us now to discuss your unique requirements and see how VIDIZMO can enhance your organization's security.

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Why choose VIDIZMO Digital Evidence Management System (DEMS)?

VIDIZMO recognizes the ever-evolving security requirements in various organizations. We provide a robust and integrated Digital Evidence Management System that can be implemented within a CJIS-Compliant Government Cloud, guaranteeing the utmost security standards.

Each agency has distinct security demands, and our deployment choices are equally diverse. We invite you to explore VIDIZMO to discover the various deployment options customized to suit your organization's needs.

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Use a Digital Evidence Management System to quickly close cases

This blog highlights the significance of digital evidence in modern policing, the challenges faced by specific police roles, and the role of Digital Evidence Management Systems (DEMS) in addressing these challenges.

A centralized DEMS streamlines evidence handling and enhances efficiency, making it vital for police forces.

Ready to transform your approach to digital evidence? Start your free seven-day trial at VIDIZMO today and take the first step toward enhancing your justice system.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)

Who uses digital evidence?

  • Law Enforcement Agencies: Police departments, federal agencies, and investigative units collect and analyze digital evidence to solve crimes, gather intelligence, and build cases.
  • Legal Professionals
  • Cybersecurity Experts
  • Private Investigators

Who collects digital evidence?

Professionals in the legal field, investigators, and security experts must possess expertise and utilize appropriate tools for collecting, analyzing, and preserving digital evidence.

How does DEMS benefit a police force?

A DEMS benefits a police force by streamlining digital evidence management, improving collaboration among investigators, and enhancing the efficiency of criminal investigations. It aids in maintaining the chain of custody and ensures digital evidence's integrity.

What types of digital evidence can DEMS handle?

A DEMS can handle various types of digital evidence, including data from body-worn cameras, surveillance footage, digital interviews, social media, and other digital sources, helping police manage a wide range of evidence.

How does digital evidence help solve crimes?

Digital evidence helps solve crimes by providing crucial information and proof in investigations, aiding in suspect identification, corroborating witness statements, and preserving evidence for court proceedings.

Posted by Mustafa Khan

Mustafa is an Associate Product Marketing Strategist at VIDIZMO and an expert in digital evidence management. He researches latest trends to keep up with the law enforcement landscape. For any queries, feel free to reach at websales@vidizmo.com.

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