Video Evidence: A Law Enforcement Guide to Resources and Best Practices

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The purpose of this resource is to provide answers to straightforward common questions that law enforcement officers, or the agencies they represent, may have regarding properly securing, collecting, storing, and analyzing video by directing them to valuable tools and resources from experts in the field.  Through comprehensive research of existing non-proprietary resources, the Global Strategic Solutions Working Group, www.it.ojp.gov/gsswg, determined that there were many quality products currently available to assist law enforcement with video processes and procedures.  The target audience for this product are chiefs and sheriffs.  The FAQ format makes this an “easy read” and efficiently guides readers to the guidance and tools they need to improve their video evidence process.  Video Evidence:  A Law Enforcement Guide to Resources and Best Practices includes an introduction to the issue, background, and purpose of the document, but is primarily comprised of FAQs on the following broad topics with resources recommended to address each question:

What tools would help me with video retrieval in the field ?

  • Crime Scene Investigations
  • Retrieving video from CCTV systems
  • Ensuring integrity of the video
  • Securing video from handheld devices

What guidance is available for storing video files?

  • Labeling and categorizing video files for retrieval

Are there tools to help me with the analysis of video?

  • Image analysis

What tools would help me assist community businesses to share video?

  • Installation of CCTV/video equipment
  • Guidance for purchasing video systems

What training programs or resources are available?

  • Terminology associated with video forensics
  • Training guides
  • Entities that offer training and certification
  • Developing your own video training program

Benefit to the field:  With the rapid growth and improvements in video technology used in government, business and personal applications, law enforcement leaders are recognizing the importance of improving their agency’s capabilities of utilizing that video evidence to solve crimes.  Despite the growing availability of video evidence, many state and local law enforcement agencies have indicated that gathering and analyzing video information can be very difficult.  Video evidence can come from a multitude of different devices, with differing systems, formats, players and technology, yet an agency’s ability to properly secure, catalog, store and maintain its evidentiary value and integrity is critical to a professional police organization.  Clearly, this product will be of great assistance to justice officials by serving as a road map—or pointer system—to refer them to the top resources in the field for on how best to improve their agencies ability to appropriately utilize and manage video data.  All law enforcement agencies, regardless of size, can utilize these best practices and resources to improve their ability and capability when it comes to video evidence, not just in a major incident, but also in their daily efforts to solve crime and protect the citizens they serve.

Bibliographic Information

Formal Document Title Video Evidence: A Law Enforcement Guide to Resources and Best Practices
Author Global Strategic Solutions Working Group
Date Approved By GAC 4/11/2014
Version Number 1.0
Pages 10
File Format Portable Document Format
File Size 1.15 MB

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