Why Quick Public Release of Police Camera Footage Is Important

The use of body worn cameras (BWC) by law enforcement officers has risen significantly in the last several years. Reports from the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) show that nearly half of general-purpose law enforcement agencies had acquired body worn cameras by 2016. Fast forward to today, and we know that number has jumped. With an increase in BWC usage, comes an immense volume of captured footage which can take a long time to review, edit, and correctly process.

Quick Public Release of Police Body Worn Camera Footage is Critical in a Digital World

In today’s well-connected world, it’s rare to come across someone without a cell phone. We live in a society where capturing video of your lunch, your pet’s newest trick, and that annoying person complaining loudly to the coffee shop manager is the norm. We know cell phone footage, sometimes termed “citizen journalism”, goes viral in minutes and is often the first publicly shown footage of law enforcement at the scene of an incident or arrest. However, it’s the BWC recordings that can carry the most weight.

The quick public release of police body worn camera footage can have multiple benefits, especially in high-profile cases. Social media videos may entice viewers, but video reporting from the view of the police BWC can present a more accurate account of the incident.

Quick release of BWC can not only help protect an officer’s reputation, but it can also:

  • Increase community trust, helping to stave off false accusations, protests, and riots
  • Improve the relationship and civility between the officer and citizen
  • Help lead to more arrests and issuance of citations

Privacy Concerns Surrounding BWCs

Unfortunately, it’s often difficult for law enforcement agencies to quick-release footage from the BWCs. Delays in the release of footage are largely due to privacy concerns and legislation.

A recent report on body-worn camera program recommendations says, “Body-worn cameras have significant implications for the public’s privacy rights, particularly when it comes to recording victim interviews, nudity, and other sensitive subjects and when recording inside people’s homes. Agencies must factor these privacy considerations into decisions about when to record, where and how long to store data, and how to respond to public requests for video footage.”

It is essential that law enforcement agencies can review/redact footage prior to release, and also to assure that footage is safely and securely stored to prevent unauthorized access.

Argus Body Worn Camera: Innovation from Kustom Signals

When it’s important for your agency to publicly release police body worn camera footage quickly, you can count on Argus BWC from Kustom Signals. This police body-worn camera has innovative features that can save time and allow you to classify evidence while still working in the field using the companion app, Argus Insight.

One-Touch Redaction. Redaction processes can be labor-intensive, taking hours to edit/redact a 30-second clip. Argus Data Vault utilizes artificial intelligence to instantly identify all faces present in your footage then uses one-touch redaction to make it faster and easier to remove Personal Identifiable Information (PII) that cannot be shared publicly.

Argus Data Vault. Evidence management shouldn’t be cumbersome or difficult to use. With Argus BWC, you not only get innovative AI tech, but access to Argus Data Vault, cutting-edge software for efficiently and easily sharing encrypted files with other law enforcement agencies, government officials, the media, and more. This software also allows users to quickly cut, mix, and shorten footage as needed for each individual case while maintaining the original integrity of the footage for evidentiary reasons.

Argus Insight. Argus Insight is the companion mobile app for the BWC that allows officers to classify and review evidence while still in the field.

When investing in Argus BWC you’ll also find convenient storage solutions for on-site evidence management plus unlimited cloud storage. Other important features include its AI-powered voice activation that recognizes common phrases and events to automatically trigger recording and capture footage. Argus sends data back to administration for assessment and live stream monitoring. It’s 4G capable, with a 12-hour battery that can be hot-swapped so Argus continues to record during a battery change.

Argus BWC is designed for the needs of modern policing. Contact us today for more on how you can make Argus work for your agency.

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