Nearly 300 police officers in Fort Wayne, Ind., started using digital cameras a year ago, and now regularly use them as a means for collecting evidence. Officers have taken pictures of car collisions, victims, and crime scenes, including those of robberies and domestic violence.

The cameras were bought using grant money geared toward reducing domestic violence in the city. The images can be easily retaken, saved, copied, or printed because of their digital qualities.

But after adding some 90,000 pictures to the police department's database, the department's computer technology division saw a need to contain more storage space to store images and accelerate the speed of the software used to access the database, according to officer Scott Kizziar.

The Fort Wayne Police Department (FWPD) has ordered a new $12,000 server capable of storing up to eight times more information than the current system, and the addition of hardware and some other technical modifications will decrease the time needed to save and extract photos. This will also allow officers to go back on duty quicker; the existing server takes as long as 45 minutes to an hour for pictures to download.

The FWPD expects to retain the images on the server for three years to five years and subsequently store them long-term on DVDs. Kizziar said the photos are encrypted because they are viewed as evidence.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette (IN) (07/09/06) P. C1; Iacone, Amanda .