AST Digital Magazine July/August 2016 - Page 75

Volume 6 hicle cameras, interrogation rooms, and automatic license plate recognition (ALPR) systems. July-Aug 2016 Edition In order for law enforcement agencies to better manage and utilize video based data, Nicastro suggests starting with the best possible equipment from both a quality perspective, as well as “ease of use” perspective, otherwise what could be a great solution may not be utilized. “The ability to quickly search through multiple sources is critical, as it not only improves conviction rates, but it could help take a dangerous perp off the streets faster. Handling video data has become an important element of an officer’s workflow and evidence management and is part of the unified chain of evidence. Getting the most value from the data requires a different storage strategy than just a few years ago. Policing in the 21st century depends on aggregated content to piece together data captured from a wide array of sources, including video footage, to help solve crimes and bring criminals to justice. According to Stephen J. Nicastro, a retired NYPD Sergeant of Detectives who continues to work in the investigations field, digital and video based data today plays an increasingly important role in improving conviction rates. “Over the last 20 years that I’ve been on the job, these new tools have helped me solve cases faster and more effectively. The combination of video verification with evidence and information gathered from social media sites and tools like Lexis Nexus has helped improve our ability to correctly identify and find the right suspect, and have given us more complete data for the prosecutor’s office.” Nicastro cites three key challenges with utilizing video-based evidence and data. “Video quality isn’t always sufficient. Further, I need to be able to prove that data can be traced back to its original source and was not manipulated. Having a sufficient amount of people trained in video and computer forensics so that data can be properly retrieved and analyzed is also a challenge. Proper training can be quite costly for many departments.” Taking a More Holistic Approach In the past, technology often was evaluated on a project basis by individual departments and agencies. Different agencies and departments were allocated funding, and they evaluated the technology needs with their group and purchased solutions accordingly, giving little consideration to interagency data sharing or integration. Many times this resulted in islands of storage serving specific use cases, making it difficult to aggregate content from different systems. Ret. Seattle Police Chief John Diaz With 30 years’ experience in the police force, retired Seattle Police Chief John Diaz has seen the 75