Monday, April 13, 2015

Body cameras cost more than just sticker price.

Body cameras are the new law enforcement tool that is on everyone's lips after South Carolina and Ferguson.  The politicians are naturally rushing forward to give grants and get grants while the media asks how come all police don't already have this 21st century tool.  However, the Wall Street Journal explored one often-ignored feature of body cameras- storage costs. The media rarely, if ever, mentions the storage costs as it usually just focuses on the sticker price.  A police department that has several hundred body cameras is also going to have a great deal of data to store - and that costs money.  The Journal reported:


As more police agencies equip officers with body cameras in response to public pressure, authorities are discovering they create problems of their own: how to analyze, process and store the mountains of video each camera generates.

Prosecutors in northern Colorado recently spent hours poring over a dozen videos captured by police wearing cameras. The case? An arrest for drunk and disorderly conduct.

Clifford Riedel, Larimer County’s district attorney, said his office has been overwhelmed with footage from the 60 body cameras the Fort Collins Police Department uses, and will need to hire an additional technician to sort through it all. “There are just huge amounts of data being generated from cameras,” said Mr. Riedel. “It used to be that video on a case was the exception. Now it’s the rule.”
Rest of article.

The movement gained new intensity after the police shooting last week of a fleeing man in South Carolina. While many experts inside and outside of law enforcement agree that body cameras—clipped to officers’ uniforms or glasses—help increase police transparency and may even improve police behavior, police departments and prosecutors are struggling with how to sift through, preserve and share the visual evidence.

On top of that, agencies need policies and personnel to respond to requests from journalists and the public to release video under freedom-of-information requests.....

But the cost has given some officials pause, said Lindsay Miller, senior research associate at the Police Executive Research Forum and co-author of a Justice Department report on the topic. “The cameras themselves aren’t overly expensive, but the years and years of data storage you’re going to deal with—that can definitely be cost-prohibitive,” said Ms. Miller.

Many departments keep inconsequential video for 30 to 60 days. But if the footage is evidence in a criminal case, it must be kept longer; most states require that video in a homicide case be kept indefinitely, she said. Ms. Miller said an emerging consensus is that the benefits outweigh the costs. In limited studies, the cameras have shown promise in reducing use of force by police and citizen complaints—and that can save money spent investigating complaints and settling lawsuits, she said.

In Oakland, Calif., the police department deploys 560 body cameras, enough for nearly every officer on duty, said Sean Whent, the chief of police. Their use results in about five to six terabytes of data every month—equivalent to about 1,250 to 1,500 high-definition movie downloads—said Mr. Whent. That data is stored on a department server for two years at a minimum—or longer if it is needed in a criminal or disciplinary case, he said.

In the future, Mr. Whent said he anticipates either using a cloud-storage service or reducing the retention period because of the sheer size of the data.

“It’s absolutely worth the cost—the public today demands a greater amount of accountability and transparency on the part of police,” he said. “The cameras have a civilizing effect on the police and the people who know they’re being recorded.”

In Berkeley, Calif., officials are weighing whether to outfit officers with cameras. Police estimate it could cost up to $135,000 to buy 150 cameras at $900 a pop. But it could cost an additional $45,000 a year for a limited data-storage plan priced at $25 a month per camera—and officials have raised the possibility of also hiring new employees to sift through all the video....

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has pledged to purchase 7,000 cameras. The cost of data storage and maintenance is estimated at $7 million a year, a spokeswoman said. The city plans to include money for the program in its coming budget and seeks federal funds as well. The department already purchased about 800 cameras with money raised by private donors. .....

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

“It’s absolutely worth the cost—the public today demands a greater amount of accountability and transparency on the part of police,” he said. “The cameras have a civilizing effect on the police and the people who know they’re being recorded.”

This quote sums it up best. Figure out a way to earn trust back or come up with the money to pay for accountability.

Anonymous said...

why would it be necessary to store routine patrol footage more than 30 days?

these cameras should not be for the huffy citizen that claims a rude officer wrote a speeding ticket. it should be for arrests that are resisted, other violence, and evidence for a possible trial.

or am I missing a point...

Anonymous said...

Body cameras will protect all involved. The officer and the public the officer sworn to protect. This article does bring to light the costs involved with these advanced video systems. Smaller departments and small municipalities will have a tough time bearing these costs.

Anonymous said...

To those that say it is worth it and departments must find a way to pay for it: Are you willing to have a tax increase? Everything government does costs money, but no one wants to pay for higher taxes. Body cameras cost money; the data storage cost money; the time and personnel for review costs money. Most law enforcement departments don't have enough personnel or budget funds for the basic requirements. If you want more technology, you must be willing to pay for it. Nothing is Free!

Anonymous said...

@4:51 - Well said my friend.

Anonymous said...

4:02 The huffy citizen and the rude officer is exactly what these cameras are for. As well and the more serious situations law enforcement officers face everyday. These videos are evidence to be used to build cases against criminals, huffy citizens and officers that do wrong. You also have to pay someone to maintain these systems.

Anonymous said...

I'm a bit confused as to why the storage costs would be so high.

My single costs a year for having everything I've filmed or photographed or written since I got my first computer doesn't rise to these quoted costs.

We have the media able to download these cam recordings quickly so why can't they be downloaded into convenient, less expense storage?

I'm sure they are storing computerized records not much differently than we store our important documents.

Is this the cost for a police department having their own cloud?

If the problem is keeping the original, then couldn't the laws be adapted for this technology as long as the chain of the evidence being downloaded is protected?

I'm not a techie so what am I missing?

Salt Dome At Flora said...

Newsflash! For those of you who suggest these tape loops can be disposed of, it will not be up to the municipal po-po chief or city attorney (or even the Madison Mayor) to decide how long evidence must be kept, preserved and maintained in a usable state.

In a legal sense, these tapes will be similar to board meeting minutes and records of disbursements of grant funds. Once you got 'em, you gonna keep 'em.

Anonymous said...

7:36 am " usable state" is the key phrase

What might be a " usable state" can be legally defined to take new technology into account assuming our legislators are not brain dead,can it not?

Anonymous said...

@4:51 Freedom has its costs and they are 100% justified. I would be more than willing to have a slight tax increase to fund the cameras and data storage. Maybe Congress should find the money for bigger grants somewhere in our massively overfunded Defense Dept.

Anonymous said...

12:49 Shut your mouth! DOD could never take money away from that Pentagon program that details all the sexist language in the Constitution, Bible, and Declaration of Independence. It's heroes like those bureaucrats that have kept our country free.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't the "black box" in an airliner start recording over itself after twenty minutes or so, only keeping data from the last 20 minutes of a flight (presumably when a significant event happened)?

Aren't security camera recordings tossed after one week in most places?

Suscribe to latest on JJ.

Recent Comments

Search Jackson Jambalaya

Loading...

Subscribe to JJ's Youtube channel

Who is the hottest reporter?

Archives

Who is the Hottest Reporter in Jackson?

Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).


Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.


In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.


Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS
.