Cloud offers low cost, unlimited storage for Body-worn camera data

Cloud technology solutions can help law enforcement agencies accomplish the objective of the Body-worn camera (BWC) program: To overhaul the internal workings of police departments and make them more accountable and efficient. Procuring BWCs is just the first step in the implementation of the program. The major challenge before the police departments lies in finding and adopting suitable technological measures to store the data recorded by the cameras on a daily basis.

By offering cost-effective and reliable solutions to police departments for collecting, analyzing, storing and sharing massive amounts of body-worn camera data, a cloud can play an integral part in the effective implementation of the program.

By offering funding and cost-effective and reliable solutions to police departments for collecting, analyzing, storing and sharing massive amounts of body-worn camera data, a cloud can play an integral part in the effective implementation of the program.

Funding Issues

It is not practically possible for police departments to implement on-premises storage of BWC data because of the investments required and resulting maintenance complexities. In addition, considering the sensitive nature of the data and its importance in a criminal prosecution, departments need to make provisions for data backup and recovery.

President Obama’s $263 million investment package to expand the use of BWCs, enhance training for police personnel and strengthening police-community relationships, will not be sufficient to cover the entire expenditure required for storing BWC video footages and ensuring safety and backup of the same data for future use in case of any legal proceedings. The federal funding program just covers 50 percent of the cost. States and local governments are supposed to match the other half.

What makes the task of Body-worn camera data storage and backup more daunting is the fact that many departments have been using BWCs for some time. The storage expenses for an average sized agency can run into millions of dollars in some cities. This can put city and county budgets under intense pressure as they will have to chip in with extra money for the Body-worn camera program. In Wichita, Kansas, for instance, a police department is looking at selling a helicopter used to search for suspects to fund its BWC program that will cost about $6.4 million over a decade.

In smaller cities, during the time of fiscal constraint, it is highly likely that funding for the BWC program would drain out resources needed to fulfill the obligations of the core mission of public safety. Then, there are lawmakers warning of an increase in tax rate to fund the program.

Managing BWC data

City police departments require additional resources to manage the stored data as even a small agency may record millions of videos each year, making it a technological nightmare for agencies to manage this large data with existing manpower. Police officers will also be required to spend additional time after their shift, handling the video and storage.

In addition, the high-definition video will take up an enormous amount of virtual storage space and that will be overwhelming for any traditional evidence storage servers to handle, even those deployed at the largest agencies.

Another factor that can stretch the resources further is the duration of time these massive amounts of data need to be stored. At present, it varies across different jurisdictions and ranges largely from 3-5 years. But, if due to any change in policies or legal framework, this duration gets extended further, departments will face additional problems.

In their effort to address these issues, law enforcement agencies are slowly warming up to cloud technology solutions. Building the system in the cloud will help ensure robust security, better tracking, and management of data.

By adopting cloud, police departments can reduce the total cost of ownership for in-house servers and accompanying support. Estimates suggest that agencies can save 30-50 percent of the infrastructure cost by implementing cloud solutions as against in-house equipment, labor, and infrastructure.

Cloud eliminates the need for an officer wearing a camera to spend additional time in the office, uploading files and naming them. Officers can avoid the entire paperwork by just plugging the device into a docking station. From then on, the cloud will take over.

Cloud can provide almost unlimited room to store video. It can also offer redundancy and security for Body-worn camera data. As the cloud-based solutions are easy to handle and work almost the same as the internal system of a law enforcement agency, officers will find it easy to adopt them without much training.

DoubleHorn, a leading provider of cloud service brokerage, can help you choose the right technologies for your Cloud needs. DoubleHorn’s cloud solutions comply with federal and state regulatory requirements and are ideally suited for law enforcement agencies. DoubleHorn’s efficient, low-cost solutions can cater to the entire storage, management, security and backup requirements at an affordable price. Contact us at solutions@doublehorn.com (or) 855-61-VOICE (86423) for more information.

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