In the wake of unrest that has occurred in several cities across the country, the move to equip law enforcement officers with body cameras is high on the to-do list for many municipalities. The movement is intended to provide the ultimate witness that captures evidential video, helping to validate what actually occurred for prosecutorial procedures and to protect citizens and law enforcement. Live video footage from hundreds of officers in just one city can demand substantial video storage requirements that may need to be preserved for decades – which is why precincts are looking for reliable yet affordable long term data storage….enter LTO technology.
Why Use Body Cameras
Body cameras can provide a traceable provenance of evidence in the form of eyewitness video, which might otherwise go uncollected. A Vox article entitled Police Body Cameras, features the following comments from Daytona Beach Police Chief Michael Chitwood: “Oftentimes, we know that [a] suspect is repeatedly abusing [a] victim, but either the victim refuses to press charges, or there is simply not enough evidence to go to trial. The footage shows first-hand the victim’s injuries, demeanor, and immediate reactions. This means that we can have enough evidence to move forward with the case…” Body cameras can also help reduce the use of force by officers and reduce citizen complaints. A report by the Department of Justice, noted in the Vox article, revealed that a year after police in Rialto, California were directed to wear body cameras, use of force by officers dropped 60 percent and citizen complaints declined by 88 percent.
Evidential Video Comes in Many Forms
The interest and use of body cameras is rising, and is not without significant investment and planning for the considerable amount of video content produced by each individual camera. In addition, other footage related to law enforcement and evidential storage is captured by police squad car cameras and closed circuit cameras found in public parks, garages and city streets. Laura Loredo, LTO Program representative stated in an article entitled Capacious LTO Gen 7 Tape Storage Comes To Market, “We’re seeing video surveillance everywhere and data being kept for longer times, and it’s no good to have cameras where you can’t see the people, so they’re getting more high definition in video surveillance cameras and more cameras everywhere.” High definition gives more clarity and definition to the video evidence and greatly increases the size of the storage content. In a NewBay Media whitepaper called Coping with the Video Data Bulge, Frank Kimko states, “the LTO solution is more cost-effective for long-term storage and more reliable when the data ‘must’ be preserved beyond the near horizon.”
Storing Video Evidence Long Term
It is estimated that one officer’s body camera can generate 1 terabyte of video files in a year. It adds up quickly. A sector with 1,000 officers generates about 1 petabyte of body cam content that is ideal for storing on an LTO-7 tape library. LTO-7 technology provides secure storage with hardware encryption and the Linear Tape File System (LTFS) makes the storage process easy in a manner like using disk technology. LTFS files can be dragged and dropped to and from the tape technology. LTFS can be used with a stand-alone tape drive, with small to large tape libraries and with LTFS media management systems offered by LTFS supporting partners. For those concerned with costs, LTO technology has been shown to offer the lowest cost of digital data storage as compared to disk storage systems.
LTO tape with LTFS is being widely used in the Media and Entertainment industry and its use for secure long term storage of video surveillance content is a logical and smart adoption. See LTFS and LTO-7 technology demonstrated live by the LTO Program at the ISC West security conference in Las Vegas, booth #4029, April 6-8, 2016.