GPN learned about trends in law enforcement camera system deployments from Captain Jay Tobin of the Aberdeen, S.D., police department. Here are the captain’s views.

GPN: Capt. Jay Tobin, can you please tell us about your department’s camera setup?

Capt. Tobin: We use the Taser Axon system, which uses the cloud-based system for a storage site.

GPN: What were some of the features your department was looking for when it selected its current system?

JT: The decision to use the cloud was based on several things. Security, cost and convenience were the primary factors we considered when choosing a system.  The site provides audit trails and backup storage for the videos. It keeps our data safe and it is easy to monitor who is accessing the videos.

The expense of an in-house system would be costly. The number of servers, storage and location creates issues. It would require more IT support that could lead to required hiring of more personnel.  We pay an annual fee for the service. The fee is based on the number of users uploading data into the system. enables you to manage the system and its users fairly easily. You are able to give permission to the users to limit access to view or edit the videos. Anytime someone has any interaction with a video, it is added to the audit trail. This system allows the videos to be shared via e-mail. You can send an invite to an e-mail address that allows the person to access the video.  Again, this is added to the audit trail. You control the recipient’s privileges concerning the video. You set the time they have to view the video and if they are allowed to download the video.

GPN: Does the cloud have a role in archiving surveillance video?

JT: We do not use the cloud to store video surveillance footage.

GPN: Do you have any advice for police/local government on where to store/archive police video?

JT: My advice would be to compare systems. Costs, security and ease of use are your primary concerns. Visit departments that have systems in place. Managing the data is very important. You will have to provide copies of videos for defense attorneys. This can be very burdensome in larger agencies. Make sure the system has a search feature that is very efficient and easy to use.

Policies governing the use of the system are very important. The policies will help manage how the system is used and provide guidelines for how the data is entered into the system.

GPN: Thank you, Captain Jay Tobin, for your views.

In the video, Officer Daniel Rauch of the Maricopa (Ariz.) Police Department shows how the Taser Axon camera system works.


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