Managing Evidence Storage Cost at Event Capture

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The International Associate of Chiefs of Police has estimated that when video is available as evidence, 93% of police-misconduct cases result in the officer’s exoneration and 50% of complaints are immediately withdrawn. A clear, sharp video image wins the day in today’s court system. So, how do you capture the right video while managing evidence storage cost?

The Right Resolution for Video Evidence

It would stand to reason that video evidence should always be captured at the highest resolution possible, providing the best image.

While perhaps desirable, there’s a financial impact for doing so as video recorded in a higher resolution requires more file storage space than in a lower resolution. For example, a one-hour video captured in Standard Definition (SD) 480p resolution requires .88GB of storage. The same video captured in High Definition (HD) 720p requires 2.2GB (at 30 frames per second).

So big is the impact that agencies often compromise video clarity (choosing the lower resolution) to actively manage storage requirements (smaller file size).

Did you know? A one-hour SD video requires .88GB of storage, whereas a one-hour HD video requires 2.2GB: An increase of 150%.

WatchGuard’s 4RE in-car video system comes standard with patented Multiple Resolution Recording technology that allows the 4RE to record in HD and SD simultaneously, thus eliminating the need to compromise.

The desired resolution befitting the incident type or department policy can be automatically saved by the system and tagged as an event. Important (court-bound) events are automatically saved in HD (720p) while routine events (usually 95% of recordings) are automatically saved at the lower resolution (480p).

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How to Manage Resolution with the 4RE In-Car System

Event Tags Automatically Determine Resolution to be Saved

Define and configure event tags (i.e. Traffic Accident, Traffic Warning, Domestic) in Evidence Library evidence management software. Mark events tags for which you want the resolution automatically saved as Required.

Any event tag marked Required will appear in a picklist shown on the 4RE display immediately after a recording is stopped. The officer can’t move forward in the process of saving the recording until an event tag is chosen.

Associate the resolution to be saved with the event tag. For example, an officer is involved in a drug seizure incident. When the incident is resolved and the recording is stopped, the officer is presented with a list of event tags. She selects the Drug Seizure event tag before pressing Saved on the 4RE display screen. Using the assigned configuration, the event is automatically saved in the maximum resolution.

Manually Determine Resolution to be Saved

When appropriate and allowed by department policy, an officer can manually override the automated choice discussed above.

If the event tag answer that best applies to the recorded event would typically save video at a lower quality, but the officer determines a specific incident needs to be saved at a higher quality, an on-screen Resolution button allows the officer to choose to save the video at the higher quality. The officer never has the option to downgrade the resolution.

For example, an officer makes a traffic stop. When the recording is stopped and the officer is presented with the list of event tags, he selects the Traffic Citation event tag, which is normally saved at the standard resolution.

But, in this case, he feels something happened during the traffic stop that merits a higher quality recording. He presses the on-screen Resolution button to manually make a one-time change from standard resolution to maximum resolution for this recorded event.

Manage Evidence Storage Cost without Compromising Quality

The ability to automatically assign a video image resolution (high or low) befitting the incident (critical or routine) at the time of event capture provides agencies with the opportunity to proactively manage evidence storage cost without compromising video quality.

Contact us to learn more about 4RE and efficiently managing evidence storage cost.