With numerous body-worn camera implementations around the U.S. —and the world as well— the explosion of video feeds becoming digital evidence to law enforcement agencies, campus security departments, and corporate security organization is becoming a challenge to collect, organize, manage, and retrieve.
There are a number of on-premise digital evidence management (DEM) software solutions on the market where security departments —especially law enforcement— can enter the video feeds from those body-worn cameras, in-car dash cams, cell-phone video, as well as PDF, word docs (such as police officer reports), JPEG photos, and other digital files. Additional meta-data (information about the file) is also entered into the DEM system, or ingested automatically, to make it easier to search and retrieve at a later date.
As we become a predominate digital world, digital files are now commonplace for law enforcement to collect and store as evidence and then need to collaborate with both prosecutors, defense attorneys, district attorneys, and others.
And then there is the Cloud.
Many organizations, especially law enforcement departments around the world, have witnessed how cloud storage solutions can help control data management, overall storage costs, and improved accessibility. Unfortunately, there have been some cloud-based evidence management offerings that can see their costs balloon out of control. Think Evidence.com
Enter Genetec’s new cloud-based digital evidence management solution, Clearance™, and you have a sophisticated video and digital file management solution that has a large focus on collaboration. Clearance also provides a dropbox-style video upload feature that allows individuals that have video footage (or other digital files) to easily upload their own video files.
Feature-rich, collaborative, and currently priced based on the number of cases an organization opens in a given period, Clearance can significantly improve digital evidence management while keeping storage costs truly under control.
Genetec™ describes Clearance as a case management system designed to speed up investigations by allowing different organizations to collect, manage and share video evidence and other relevant case information. The solution allows police officers, investigators, and security managers to gather digital evidence from a variety of sources (such as Genetec Security Center and other video management systems, body-worn devices, in-car systems and cellphone footage from bystanders and witnesses), and easily store, manage, review and share it from within a single application.
Genetec Clearance enables collaboration across independent agencies and private sector organizations. All pertinent files related to cases (video files as well as audio, images, documents etc.) are centralized and can be securely shared between investigators or requested by 3rd parties, without needing to physically ship or deliver the recordings. As the application is not licensed per seat, access can be shared with as many users as needed, without incurring any additional fees. With built-in video redaction, the privacy of bystanders can be protected by allowing identifiable information to be masked before sending video to other stakeholders. All user actions initiated within the system, whether internal or external, are automatically tracked to ensure the chain of custody of the evidence is maintained at all times.
“The increased evidence that is now available from video surveillance systems, body cameras, and from witnesses can help solve crimes. However, the sheer amount of data to be managed can also become cumbersome to process and review, increasing the time spent on case preparation, rather than the investigation. That’s why we have developed a case management system to help automate certain tasks that are frequently performed manually today and to facilitate collaboration between law enforcement, corporate security departments, legal entities, and the public,” explains Erick Ceresato, Product Manager at Genetec.
Organizations today are looking at ways to streamline their evidence sharing process while maintaining stringent audit capabilities. The growing volume of video recordings has become increasingly complex to manage and it is important for users to collaborate while also maintaining a clear chain of custody.
Larry Waite, Safe City & Corporate Security Manager with Ipswich City Council, Queensland, Australia recently evaluated Genetec Clearance. The Council routinely shares video with numerous outside entities and was looking to find a new approach to streamline the process. “Our existing tools did not allow the level of file sharing or auditability that Genetec Clearance offers. Being able to collaborate across teams and with the police department will speed up our case investigations process and reduce time and costs associated with collecting and sending recordings,” says Waite.
Because Genetec Clearance supports many common video codecs, video evidence can easily be reviewed, while also eliminating the time-consuming manual process of video codec conversion. Designed as an open platform, Genetec Clearance APIs can be used to integrate with 3rd party systems and automate the upload of video recordings and associated metadata to be reviewed within the system. Integration with Record Management Systems (RMS) enables law enforcement departments to automate the creation of new cases with their existing record system, reducing the need for duplicate data entry.
Genetec Clearance is available on a subscription basis and includes access to all the latest software updates and features. Updates are automated within the system as they become available, requiring no additional intervention from the client’s own staff.