Regain control of video evidence

The Toronto Police Service integrated a video evidence management system

To illustrate, when booking a suspect the computer pulls data about the arrestee, validates the information and since DVAMS is connected with the TPS human resources management system the data is then attached to the arrest number. A breath test facility works much the same. An officer is logged in, chooses the appropriate choice and follows the subsequent intuitive menus. 

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"Many agencies are starting to look at a centralized repository for their videos because it's the number one evidence, next to fingerprints, they need to get to court," says Sandeman.

However he warns to keep the development going for the correct purpose. During the project, Sandeman says he personally pushed MediaSolv to keep the business driving the technology - not the other way around.

"One of the successes to this project, and I would argue that this is important on any system integration or software development project, is we had good people on both sides: a great client and a lot of people working for us that had to share the goal of getting the system implemented ... in a way that met the requirements of the TPS and their vision," says Weaver.

Reflecting upon his 28-year career of software integration, he knows the value of a true partner relationship when doing a project like Toronto. "Spend some time thinking through what your ultimate requirements are so that there is a clear picture and vision of what you ultimately want to implement," suggests Weaver. However, he does understand that it can be difficult to the early stages because agencies might not fully know what they want until they get into the project. 

Coupling this, he also advises, the software integrator and agency alike, to keep flexible on both sides to know that the project might change courses from time to time and have the willingness and understand that it's rare to have enough research done beforehand. "Things change that are going to affect [the project.]," he notes. "Understand where you're trying to get to and have the ability and flexibility to alter course to the extent that you need." He also mentions that strong project management on both sides and a making sure the integrator has a good clear understanding of the objective. MediaSolv has also worked in Washington, D.C.; Chicago; Newport News, Va.; and Salinas, Calif.

Sandeman recommends starting small: "I wouldn't get concerned that we're a big agency and we're networked (TPS uses a LAN). I think Chicago and Washington started with just their Homicide bureau with two rooms recorded onto a server ... now they're looking at moving forward to network it."

Adding that, "the good thing about digital networking is you can always expand."


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