Evidence management is one of law enforcement’s most critical tasks. With a fast-growing mass of digital evidence penetrating the legal space, prosecution and law enforcement agencies now face an ever-increasing challenge to store, manage and analyze an overwhelming volume of digital records, which can be addressed by means of an evidence tracking software.
Routine legal investigations and criminal prosecution now necessitate the utilization of digital evidence that comes in many forms. This commonly includes electronic documents, phone and audio recordings, camera pictures, as well as a mammoth of video evidence acquired from recently incorporated body-worn cameras, in-car cameras, surveillance footage, phone videos, interrogation room interviews, and more. More contemporary uses also include video obtained from unmanned drones and other aerial vehicles used to surveil regions and even chase suspects.
When presented in court, digital evidence not only needs to be in a consolidated format but also requires supplemental functions such as transcription, redaction, closed captioning and editing before it can be shown to a jury and other stakeholders. Additionally, the enormity of such content also requires efficient storage over a period, especially considering the need for archiving as well as data retention requirements. All media also needs to be maintained in a manner that it is easily searchable for discovery purposes, while also linking it to case management tools like a Records Management System (RMS).
This poses challenges for law enforcement agencies attempting to manage their digital media as they are either strained with the high cost of outsourcing processes like transcription and redaction; or they struggle with internal inadequacy of expertise to manage the media like little to no training, rotating personnel, low priority from administrators, and lack of evidence tracking.
What does a Digital Evidence Tracking Software Do?
A decent digital evidence tracking software solves all digital evidence management, storage and sharing challenges for law enforcement agencies. It integrates with the evidence collection tools and systems for automatic ingestion of footage and other evidence files. It also integrates with other systems like Record Management Systems (RMS) and Computer-Aided Dispatch (CAD) to name a couple, to streamline analysis by centralizing all relevant data and information.
Furthermore, a digital evidence tracking software ensures that the evidence stored and shared on it is admissible in the court of law. It helps law enforcement officers streamline transcription, translation and redaction, by automating the processes using artificial intelligence. It also logs the chain of custody of individual pieces of evidence and other activities performed on the evidence tracking software, as well as detects tampering with the evidence to ensure the integrity of the evidence.
How Does VIDIZMO Digital Evidence Management System Address This Dilemma?
VIDIZMO Digital Evidence Management System (DEMS), built on Gartner-recognized Enterprise Video Content Management (EVCM) System, is a digital evidence tracking software that offers a comprehensive solution to all the aforementioned challenges faced by law enforcement agencies while managing digital evidence.
Unified Media Portal
VIDIZMO Digital Evidence Management System provides a centralized repository to ingest evidence in variable formats from any source, including the sheriff’s office, police, witnesses, and other external agencies.
All content is securely stored, either on-premises or on any commercial or government cloud. Cloud deployment allows law enforcement agencies to use the cloud-based artificial intelligence services, including automatic transcription and translation, facial, speech and object recognition, redaction, and much more, which helps investigators with analysis and makes for swift justice. Alternatively, on-premises deployment allows customers to leverage legacy systems and existing IT infrastructure, as the application is hosted behind a corporate firewall over customer’s private LAN, WAN and CDN.
Security and access
Security is undeniably the most crucial aspect of digital evidence management. With VIDIZMO DEMS, we provide best-in-class security through enterprise single sign-on. In addition, VIDIZMO DEMS provides complete control over all user actions and content access rights through its built-in Role-Based Access Control (RBAC), where users can be mapped to various roles, either manually or via an automated active directory synchronization process. Media can also be shared with external users using third-party logins, requiring authentication via Google, Microsoft or VIDIZMO ID.
DEMS also comes with chain of custody, tamper detection and audit logs out-of-the-box that ensures the integrity and admissibility of the digital evidence in the court of law.
Index and Search
Once ingested and stored, all evidence is then catalogued, organized, tagged and linked to other case management tools. Users can then utilize VIDIZMO’s intelligent indexing and search capabilities to quickly locate or extract any media within seconds, thus speeding up investigations and dramatically shortening data search times.
Transcription and Closed Captioning
VIDIZMO DEMS automatically transcribes all videos while also allowing users to make edits to transcriptions. Machine generated transcription converts spoken words into searchable and indexable text, thereby speeding up evidence processing by avoiding long delays involved in manual transcription. This allows users to quickly search and jump to a spoken word within the transcribed text. Where required, VIDIZMO also enables closed captioning in videos, to add clarity to video and audio files, as well as increase searchability and accessibility for those with hearing disabilities.
VIDIZMO DEMS maintains detailed audit logs to keep track of all actions performed by users, giving administrators the ability to validate the integrity of the original source. Administrators also have the option to monitor progress using detailed user analytics and reports about consumption of content used for officer induction, training, and education.
Device and Network Agnostic Playback
Once processed, content can be played across all devices for viewing by authorized users, including mobile phones, laptops, PCs, tablets, etc. Also, using adaptive bitrate streaming, video content can be played in the best suited rendition for the network, which makes for a smooth viewing experience.
Automatic File Deletion
Administrators can set a time frame for content availability and expiration, depending on archiving requirements. Upon scheduled expiration of file retention period, the automatic deletion feature automatically deletes archived content.
VIDIZMO provides a wide range of video editing features to make the content suitable for purposes of discovery, dissemination and presentation to prosecutors, defense attorneys, and judges.
Adoption of a digital evidence tracking software like VIDIZMO Digital Evidence Management System (DEMS) empowers law enforcement agencies with the ability to effectively and efficiently store, manage, analyze, distribute and archive all digital evidence and data related to legal and criminal investigations, all while observing the chain of custody requirements. This not only enables easy automation of evidence management but also bridges the gap between agency’s workflows while consistently maintaining integrity and admissibility of evidence at all times.
If you’d like to learn more about how VIDIZMO Digital Evidence Management System can help your organization, sign up for a free 30-day trial today.