AI-based Video redaction software is an AI application software that uses pattern matching to locate specified objects contained within a video. Police officers enter the data to be edited from their videos such as private citizen’s identities, undercover officers, or even classified material not available for public consumption. The target data is used by the software to scan the video for matching images. These images are then blurred or pixilated as required throughout the entire video sequence. When redaction occurs in video footage through AI applications, it is thorough and complete, as if it had never been recorded.
Redaction software applications while making the job of video editing much easier, it is still under the control and supervision of dedicated police officers. The AI based software often includes machine-learning intelligence which can improve the applications usefulness and targeted behaviors over time. While these applications are tools that can help manage the data that is collected through body cameras and other types of video evidence equipment.
How is Video Redaction Software Used in Law Enforcement?
Law enforcement uses video redaction software applications to protect the privacy of ordinary citizens, minor children and even undercover police officers or detectives. With the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests on the rise, some jurisdictions are often compelled to comply within a certain time frame by local court rulings. When releasing video of crimes for public consumption, care must be taken to protect the public, the innocent, and those who are involved in the case but not directly in the act of committing the crime.
Police officers check the footage from their body cameras and other surveillance equipment for personally identifying information. An example could be the faces of minors or innocent bystanders. To protect their privacy AI-based video redaction software is designed to accept faces or other photographic images as data structures or data points to search for within its algorithms. For each set of data points found, it matches the image then blurs it to the privacy settings put in by the officer be in a blur or a complete black out.
Video Redaction Software is a Must Have for Effective Policing
Body cameras joined police forces to protect law enforcement officers from allegations of misconduct and also to protect the public if an officer decides to use excessive force. These cameras have also become a way to gather direct evidence, a non-partial eye-witness to the crime or events, so this information can be made available to the courts, prosecutors and attorneys. Evidence that was once thought of as only available to the judicial system, now more often, through FOIA requests, has become more public and mainstreamed through social media and news outlets.
The video documentation collected by body cameras is often crucial evidence, not only for convictions of possible criminal conduct, but possibly explaining any behaviors or aggravating factors which created the opportunity for the crime to occur. The video protects both the public and the officer on duty who is doing their best to follow training protocols. Should any accusations arise from either party, there is corroborating evidence to speak an unbiased truth as to the sequence of events that occurred.
Benefits of Video Redaction Software
The benefits of video redaction software applications have become a must-have for most law enforcement agencies. As the application algorithms continue to improve, even with AI intelligent machine learning capabilities, many of the video redaction software programs become easier to use over time with more accurate results.
Nothing can improve public safety than the ability to have the correct information available at your fingertips. Software that provides a consistent way to show the accuracy of their police work, evidence collection, and the perpetrator as they are arrested or in the process of committing a crime, goes a long way with the prosecution to keep serious offenders off the streets. Body camera video evidence is made available to the prosecution, the attorneys and the judicial system so that there is more accuracy in the charges given. Here are six more benefits of video redaction software applications that improve law enforcement information management:
- Improves transparency: Transparency and policing have been high on the public’s priority, as well as top focus of many Chief Intelligence Officers. Understanding that law enforcement agencies are working within mandated safety protocols, not abusing their authority, all while protecting the public and gathering evidence is on the minds of average citizens. Reducing fear helps build strong community relationships that are often necessary to solving many crimes. Video redaction software applications allow for body camera video and other video evidence to be safely made available for public consumption.
- Community and public safety: When the community has more trust in its policing agencies the result is higher public safety. Individuals no longer fear police actions and have a better understanding how law enforcement works and are willing to work hand in hand with their local agencies to report crime. Having a body camera system demonstrates the reliability of officer training and that evidence is collected fairly.
- Reduces department overhead: Keeping costs down is difficult for every law enforcement agency. When handling body camera and other video footage the costs are enormous. Without video redaction software before any footage can be released, there are costs involved while an officer or department must redact each frame of the video individually. This requires an officer to be on the clock and scanning the video frame by frame to locate material, faces, or other items needed to be redacted from the frames. On average a 5-minute video can take approximately 50 minutes of production time to ensure full and proper redaction has occurred for just one face. Having a quality video redaction software application system in place along with a good protocol for the handling of video evidence, saves time and money. It can also add security to the chain of evidence if needed to be scrutinized by the judicial system. Overall, the reduction in police hours and time wasted reviewing video benefits the departments for saving costs, but also in saving lives as those resources can be put towards better use.
- Improves service requests: With the fast-paced society we live in with social media driven news outlets and the public becoming more curious about the world they live in, including information on crime and police tactics, FOIA requests are becoming common place for agencies to handle. In fact, many jurisdictions are now faced with local legislation requiring that these FOIA requests for information be returned within a specified length of time, often a matter of days or weeks. The turnaround time for processing and redacting video evidence then becomes even more crucial. Video redaction software applications help improve law enforcement agencies ability to handle and administer such requests in a timely and cost-effective manner. The machine learning capability of the algorithms in these programs often learn on the job and improve their system abilities and accuracy over time with use. While saving time can be a crucial component to improving service requests, these applications also provide greater accuracy than video that must be sorted and redacted frame by frame by an individual.
- Reduces process time: Law enforcement is a tough job. No matter if you are out in the line of duty or behind a desk, the stress an officer feels to do their job right, accurately and quickly the first time around is felt. Many officers are compelled by their own sense of duty to their community to help resolve issues and solve crime to protect those they love and care about. The processing time involved with individuals redacting video on their own is labor intensive and there is the added stress of not wanting there to be any errors. A single missed frame can be released to the public, slowed down and a person’s identity discovered. This can put lives at risk. Using a quality video redaction software solution that is designed for law enforcement services greatly reduces processing time in the initial redaction stages. Using AI-based video redaction software, the software algorithms can identify faces and other target information and quickly redact or blur the image from the footage. The software is far more accurate than the individual and reduces the chance for missed frames slipping through. Good policing practices still require individual police officers to review the film for errors and any other information necessary for removal prior to its being released to the public. The software, however, reduces the processing time greatly and the stress on the officers who are designated with this responsibility.
- Greater accuracy: While we as human beings pride ourselves on being able to do things well, AI sometimes has an advantage over us. When it comes to video redaction software applications, AI and its machine learning capabilities, beats manual human redaction for accuracy hands down. When processing film evidence for video redaction, each and every frame must be looked at and blurred or blocked out accordingly. It is easy for human beings to make mistakes when looking over such an immense amount of data. When lives are at stake, gaining a foothold on accuracy to ensure public safety is well worth the investment.
Easier Policing and Safer Communities
The best qualities of video redaction software applications overall are the gains made for easier policing and safer communities. Body camera systems give police an edge when collecting evidence, or even making an arrest. Arrests themselves can be made safer for officers because criminals are aware that their every move is being monitored by the camera and will result in additional charges if they fail to comply with the officer. The evidence gathered by the body camera systems are non-biased, it is film evidence of the actual events as they occurred, without any judgements or accusations made by either the arresting officer or the criminal suspect. It protects both sides with its ability to simply show the facts as they are.
Communities as a whole become safer where body camera systems are used. These systems allow for evidence to be released to the public and demonstrate quality policing protocols in their own neighborhoods. The greater the transparency between the law enforcement agencies and their communities they serve, leads to a great trust and appreciation. Witnesses are more likely to come forward. Individuals are more likely to pick up the phone when they see something suspicious. Neighbors trust their police officers and no longer look at them in fear. This balancing of the positive aspects of law enforcement with transparency in the end makes policing easier and safer while making communities happier, safer and experiencing a reduction in crime.