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Digital Evidence Management Systems Address Growing Public Safety Needs

By Ziad Amir
Digital Evidence Management System Addresses Growing Public Safety Needs

The rapid digital transformation of public safety solves a lot of problems and challenges for the agencies, but at the same time, gives them new ones to deal with. In fact, public safety agencies have a growing need for assistance with digital transformation, especially with the overabundance of cameras and other evidence collection tools. They need to understand the tools and the approach they can use for successful and fruitful digitization. Fortunately, plenty of those challenges can be sufficiently addressed by a decent digital evidence management system.

Centralization

Digital transformation gives public safety agencies many different tools but, without centralization, this poses a considerable challenge. The agencies need to tie all the tools and systems together to link and integrate information for a more interconnected and interoperable digital infrastructure.

To put it simply, with increasing technological equipment and evolving sophistication, public safety agencies need centralization of disparate systems to break down information silos. Currently, they are collecting a whole lot of digital evidence using many different tools and systems, including body-worn cameras, in-car cameras, CCTV cameras, and more. These evidence files and the related incident details live in separate systems, locked in silos. Reconciling the evidence and the related information is still a challenge. Sure, it’s a different challenge from the one that the technology tried to solve, but it’s a challenge, nonetheless.

In such a case, a competent digital evidence management system doesn’t only streamline evidence management for law enforcement, it also ties their technological infrastructure together and allows for interoperability. For example, VIDIZMO Digital Evidence Management System (DEMS) integrates with the public safety evidence collection systems, record management systems (RMS), computer-aided dispatch (CAD), and more. Therefore, public safety agencies can effectively connect all their disparate systems and make a more consolidated system.

Plus, by integrating with the evidence collection tools like body-worn cameras in-car dash cameras and CCTV cameras, DEMS centralizes evidence storage by automatically ingesting footage from the disparate cameras and video recorders, supporting an increasing number formats of videos, images and documents.

Force Multiplication

 

As mentioned above, public safety officers deal with several technological tools on a daily basis and collect a plethora of digital information. That’s two steps forward in public safety. However, the one step back is that after collecting all that data, the officers need to sit at their desks in the precinct to process it and feed it into the system, especially when they have to perform redundant data entry tasks because their information is stored in silos.

First, they have to enter the details of an incident in the records management system and then they have to manually tag the evidence files with the same information individually. Plus, officers also go through the video evidence to index the content of the video, redact sensitive or personal information like faces or license plates, as well as identify persons of interest that appear in the videos. Plus, in case of footage from the interview room, they also transcribe the video manually. This takes up valuable time that could be better spent out on the field protecting the community.

That’s not even talking about evidence sharing which is a whole other animal to tame. Presently, most digital evidence is commonly stored on local drives, like thumb drives, DVDs and such. That means that the officers make copies of the file which is already a red flag right of the bat. And when someone needs a file, for example when a case makes it to court and the evidence has to be shared with the prosecutor, the officers share the files by delivering the files to the prosecution personally by hand. That’s way too much effort just for handing a piece of evidence down the chain of custody.

These areas are where a decent digital evidence management system can act as a force multiplier, by automating or streamlining certain tasks that would relieve the officers and save significant time spent on the desks. For example, VIDIZMO Digital Evidence Management System (DEMS) simplifies evidence management for law enforcement by packing artificial intelligence features, including facial, speech and object recognition, sentiment analysis, redaction, among many more. Using AI, DEMS indexes videos and the content within the videos is searchable based on faces, objects, words that were spoken and even they way they were spoken, allowing the users to jump forward to the relevant parts of the video instead of watching through the whole thing.

Furthermore, by integrating with RMS and CAD systems, DEMS can populate the relevant information, such as incident ID, effectively cutting out the redundant task of data entry. Digital evidence files are organized in case folders and linked to relevant case details in the RMS and CAD. Plus, AI automatically tags the files and generates metadata making the information and the files easier to search and find.

Finally, DEMS packs a range of comprehensive sharing options, allowing officers to share digital evidence files with relevant personnel directly from the portal. Officers can share certain evidence files with certain people or groups of people, lock the files by password, limit accessibility by time or by number of views, the works. Plus, DEMS logs the chain of custody for each individual piece of digital evidence and also detects any tampering with the evidence, making sure that, at the end of the day, the digital evidence is admissible in court.

In essence, VIDIZMO is attempting to not just simplify evidence management for law enforcement, but also bridge the law enforcement IT infrastructure. To learn more about VIDIZMO Digital Evidence Management System capabilities and offering

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Tags: Digital Evidence Management, public safety, Digital Transformation

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