Where do the good ideas come from? In this column, we offer our readers the opportunity to learn about—and benefit from—some of the cutting-edge technologies being implemented by law enforcement colleagues around the world.
As more states require electronic recording of criminal interrogations, police departments are responding by outfitting their interview rooms with the latest digital video recording technology. But not all systems are alike. Here are the top three things to consider when choosing the most effective equipment for an interrogation room.
Recall Technologies: Consider Three Things When Choosing Digital Recording Equipment for Interrogation Rooms
1. The Proof Is in the Audio. Interview rooms are far from acoustically perfect, and the only way to accurately capture every word is to record the audio in stereo. But many digital video recording systems on the market today only offer single-channel audio, which is often difficult to hear and understand. Recall Technologies Inc., which produced the first PC-based wiretap system more than 15 years ago, provides high-quality audio in stereo with its Interrogator digital video recording system.
2. Audio and Video in Perfect Synchronization. “In today’s world, the expectation on law enforcement is different,” said Mark Mynheir, a homicide detective in Palm Bay, Florida. “We need top-end video and audio of our interviews. The video needs to be clear and depict everything that takes places in the room—and it’s equally important to have clear, synchronized audio to go along with it.”
3. “Cop Friendly.” Detective Mynheir said that using a plug-and-play system like the Interrogator makes it easy for him to do his job and focus on the interview without worrying about the technical aspects of the recording equipment. He also likes that the system offers dual DVD recordings that are available immediately after the interview, with backup storage.
“We automatically have a copy for the state attorney’s office and a copy for evidence,” Mynheir said.
Interrogator’s single-box design includes a built-in monitor, two DVD writers, simple controls, and inputs for stereo microphones and a video camera. It provides the convenience of an Ethernet connection so others involved in the case can view the video evidence from their computers.
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Salt Lake City Police Department to Use Spillman Technologies Software to Obtain Data from Three States
The Salt Lake City Police Department is partnering with Spillman Technologies to access data collected by other public safety agencies throughout Utah, Idaho, and Nevada.
Spillman’s InSight product will allow department personnel to search for information gathered by 69 Spillman agencies. Having access to such a wide range of information will make it easier for the department to investigate and solve cases that cross jurisdictional lines, said Salt Lake City Police Department Lieutenant Rich Brede.
“We are interested in providing more thorough searches for detectives regarding persons, vehicles, and property,” Brede said. “With Spillman InSight, we’re able to look at [records] from participating Spillman agencies.”
Currently, he explains, when officers want to search for data, they need to call other jurisdictions and ask them to look up the information. InSight will allow the officers to conduct real-time electronic searches of other agencies’ databases, for example, to see if a suspect has been arrested or involved in criminal incidents in other jurisdictions.
The agency planned to go live with InSight during the first quarter of 2010. Brede adds that the system will be configured to allow Spillman agencies to access data gathered by his department, too.
The Salt Lake City Police Department will be one of 101 agencies in Utah and more than 800 agencies throughout the United States using Spillman software. Spillman provides a full range of software solutions, including records management, computer-aided dispatch, mobile communications, corrections management, fire/ EMS management, resource management, and data sharing.
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Delaware County, Indiana, Sheriff’s Office Selects New World Systems’ Public Safety Software Solutions
The Delaware County, Indiana, Sheriff’s Office and the DCECC-9-1-1 are working to greatly improve emergency response and public safety with new software and technology from an industry leader. The county has signed a contract to license New World Systems’ Aegis/MSP Public Safety Solution on the Microsoft platform to replace an outdated system. The new solutions will provide integrated mapping capabilities; field-based reporting for officers, and fast, easy access to information.
“We wanted to select a vendor that had been in business for many years, had proven applications, and a superior reputation for support,” said Tim Hutson, Chief of Emergency Services for Delaware County. “New World has been in the business for nearly three decades and serves large cities and counties across the country, many of them right here in Indiana. Their solid reputation was a deciding factor in our decision to select the company.”
New World Systems will provide the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office and DCECC-9-1-1 with Aegis/MSP Computer-Aided Dispatch (CAD), multijurisdictional Records Management System (RMS), mobile and field-based reporting and corrections software developed in-house using proven Microsoft technology, industry-standard Windows Server and SQL Server. The completely integrated system will offer the county agencies fast and easy access to mission critical information throughout all applications and provide time-saving workflow and electronic approvals.
The county also will benefit from completely integrated mapping capabilities in New World’s CAD software. Instead of looking at a separate mapping application, county dispatchers will have access to a feature-rich map within New World’s software, saving them time while dispatching aid to an emergency. New World also will provide the county with Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL), allowing dispatchers and first responders to view units that are closest to an emergency, helping to improve response times. County officials say another benefit of New World’s software will be the ability to complete and submit reports from the field.
“Providing our officers with the ability to complete and submit reports from their vehicles will save time and keep them out on the road and visible in the community,” said Hutson. New World’s solutions will help the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office protect and serve a population of more than 118,000 residents. ■
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