Illinois Police Department Pulls Plug On Body Cameras Because Accountability Is 'A Bit Burdensome'

from the unconditional-surrender-to-administrative-complaints dept

Police body cameras aren't the cure-all for bad policing. However, they are an important addition to any force, providing not only a means for accountability (albeit an imperfect one) but also documentation of day-to-day police work. They can help weed out those who shouldn't be cops as well as protect officers from bogus complaints.

It's not enough to just have the cameras, though. Effort must be made to keep them in working order (and to prevent intentional damage/disabling). The footage must also be preserved and provided to the public when requested. This does mean there's additional workload and expenses to be considered, but the potential benefits of increased documentation should outweigh the drawbacks.

Not so, apparently, for the Minooka Police Department in Illinois. The agency has decided to end its body camera program because accountability and transparency are just too much work.

Minooka Police Chief Justin Meyer said Friday the issue was not with the functionality of the cameras, but that it became a burden for staff to fill the many requests for video footage.
How much of a burden?
"I was happy [with the body cameras]," Meyer said. "It just became a bit burdensome for our administrative staff."
That's all it takes to let cops off the accountability hook: "a bit" of a burden. King Camera has been overthrown and the public's access to information is first against the wall.

Chief Meyer might want to hire a spokesperson because he's not exactly doing a great job explaining how burdensome the cameras were.
Meyer described a hypothetical example of the extra work it created for department staff.

"You could have four officers on a call for a domestic incident," Meyer said. "If they are on scene for an hour -- whether there's an arrest or not -- that's four hours of video that has to be uploaded."
Meyer could possibly be referring to redaction efforts, which could be time-consuming. He couldn't possibly be referring to the "burden" of uploading film because that's, well, non-existent.
The cameras could record up to nine hours of continuous footage with 16 GB of storage. They were plugged into a USB port at the department after a shift to collect the footage and recharge the battery.
Because the state doesn't mandate the use of body cameras, the Minooka PD -- which was the first in its county to deploy the technology -- may be the leading edge of a new wave of abandonment, both of body cameras and the accountability that goes with them. All because of an increased workload deemed by the abandoning agency as "a bit burdensome." When the going gets tough, the tough say, "Fuck it," apparently.

Policing is adversity defined. I can't muster up much sympathy for a law enforcement agency that calls it quits the moment it faces a logistical hurdle. To me, this abandonment says the department's heart was never in it. Meyer may say he "liked" the cameras, but he sure didn't put up much of a fight when someone in the office complained about the extra work. This is an agency that was looking for an excuse to ditch the cameras and took the first "offer" that came along: a bit of a burden.

Filed Under: accountability, body cameras, illinois, justin meyer, minooka, police


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Apr 2016 @ 2:10pm

    'To me, this abandonment says the department's heart was never in it'

    bullshit! it says the dept. has something to hide!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 25 Apr 2016 @ 2:15pm

      Re:

      agree... law enforcement has been able to hide for a long time now and they are certain to not want any light being shed on their operations.

      I mean... why would you? They actively murder citizens and get by with it! I think everyone already knows how rotten things are, we are just waiting for that one smoking gun or event to finally push people to the point where they have said... enough!!!

      Ferguson could have been that, but the BLM movement is nothing more than a racist baiting movement that seeks to resolve no problems and only screams and harasses others to the point were a few of them need their asses kicked!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Apr 2016 @ 1:11am

      Re:

      You mean the same kind of people that cooked up a black-book torture room don't want accountability?

      I'm Shocked, shocked I say, that there's gambling in this establishment!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 26 Apr 2016 @ 11:52am

      Something to hide is a good reason to not have your heart in it.

      So far precincts have been completely resistant to accountability, since the inconvenience of following the rules impedes their common practices.

      That's the problem: abuse has become not just epidemic, but the common norm, so of course officers who accept abuses as a necessity of police duty are going to suggest that any inconvenience is an insurmountable obstacle.

      We already know that police-controlled body-cams are not a viable solution since they get to edit the footage to control the narrative. We need the cameras that monitor our police officers to be controlled by another party, and we need to distrust the word of law enforcement when there is no footage to back it up.

      ...as if the police were just another street-gang.

      Which they actually happen to be.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Bob Buttons, 25 Apr 2016 @ 2:10pm

    Let's use our own bodycams, or equivelant. I have my phone set so if I double tap the power button it starts recording a video. Even if I kept it in my pocket it's nice having an instant audio recorder at arm's length. Luckily I'm in a one-party-consent state.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 25 Apr 2016 @ 2:22pm

      Re:

      Now they just have more incentive to leave no witnesses.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 25 Apr 2016 @ 2:22pm

      Re:

      Yeah, they already thought of that, why else do you think they're so quick to steal every camera or phone in sight, to 'preserve evidence'?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 25 Apr 2016 @ 3:00pm

        Re: Re:

        ...the answer to that is that it doesn't matter if they take your phone or "disable" it -- if it's uploading to the cloud, they've got to go after the cloud account too. And that's a bit more burdensome than body cams.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Apr 2016 @ 2:21pm

    Accountability is hard work.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Nigel, 25 Apr 2016 @ 2:27pm

    4 hours?

    Try 5 minutes of work and 4 hours of stuff happening in the background that doesn't require human intervention.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    PlagueSD (profile), 25 Apr 2016 @ 2:45pm

    I should try this next time I'm in Illinois and get pulled over for speeding.

    "I'm sorry officer for speeding. I just set my cruise to 65mph. It was too burdensome to keep up with the changing speed limit every 3 miles."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Apr 2016 @ 3:15pm

    Firing violent trigger happy officers must also be too burdensome

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Quiet Lurcker, 25 Apr 2016 @ 3:18pm

    I wonder if a lawyer might see the cop shop abandoning body cameras as possibly concealing evidence and hammer them on it in a court setting.

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  • identicon
    Police officer, 25 Apr 2016 @ 3:45pm

    Accountability? We just want to beat the shit out of people.

    America, fuck yeah!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Coyne Tibbets (profile), 25 Apr 2016 @ 3:49pm

    Tiny suggestion

    If there were even a tiny bit of accountability within the Minooka Police Department--if the officers of the department only violated procedure a tiny bit of the time--maybe there would have been fewer people asking for body camera footage.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Whatever (profile), 25 Apr 2016 @ 4:32pm

    Missed it

    I think you missed it all Tim, you are adding the wrong things up and trying not to understand.

    "Meyer could possibly be referring to redaction efforts, which could be time-consuming. He couldn't possibly be referring to the "burden" of uploading film because that's, well, non-existent."

    You missed entirely. What they would be talking about is (a) locating the raw uploaded video, (b) extracting only the time each officer was on the scene, and (c) uploading that footage to the area from where whoever requested the information could ask. Depending on their rules and such, it may require that the entire video is viewed and editing (to remove thing like bathroom breaks or non-related discussion such as answering phone or radio calls about other cases or events). It would be burdensome indeed!

    "When the going gets tough, the tough say, "Fuck it," apparently. "

    It's more a case of coming to realize that this great new source of information doesn't sort, edit, collate, or organize itself, and when you have multiple officers on the scene, it can end up being a really big amount of work to proving the information just like that.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 25 Apr 2016 @ 5:47pm

      Re: Missed it

      Whatever supporting reducing accountability because the police find it too hard?

      I'm shocked, I tell you. Shocked!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Whatever (profile), 25 Apr 2016 @ 6:42pm

        Re: Re: Missed it

        Nice troll bait!

        I don't "support" it, but I can understand it. They have gone from a paper report from each agent to hours of cam footage that has to be reviewed, edited, and put together. This isn't like they added a new minutes extra work to the deal, it's adding hours. If you don't think so, just take a camera and record your full work day, and then take the time to edit out anytime you mention someone's name, or take a bathroom break, or eat, or chat on the phone with someone, or show personally identifiable information about people who are not primary to your video (like people standing around when you talk to someone).

        Then do that every day for a week.

        Suddenly, you will discover that you have to spend MORE time than your day was long at work, but even longer to edit it down.

        Then multiply it by the number of officers on a given scene, and you start to understand how much of a burden this could be.

        Reality: Cameras are a nice idea, but FOI requests against them appear to be a whole lot more work than anyone wants to admit.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 25 Apr 2016 @ 10:01pm

          Re: Re: Re: Missed it

          edited

          Ah, you mean needs to be cut to place police in the best possible light until they've been proven to lie under oath.

          So according to the sum of all your posts ISPs and video hosting sites magically have to look through the fuckton of shit posted to them everyday... while for the police to do it it's just too, too hard.

          "Troll bait", whined the troll who logs out to post garbage. ...Which is a bit pointless since he posts rubbish regardless!

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 26 Apr 2016 @ 2:06am

          Re: Re: Re: Missed it

          "Suddenly, you will discover that you have to spend MORE time than your day was long at work, but even longer to edit it down."

          Why the hell would the officer being recorded be the one given responsibility to edit it? That would not only defeat the entire purpose of having them, but would be having him do the job of his department's admin and support staff who deal with these requests anyway.

          Why would editing even be necessary on a daily basis, rather than in response to requests? Surely most activity isn't going to be requested, and the timestamps required would be closely correlated with the official report, so it's hardly a massive burden to provide the video (unless you need to edit what happens between those timestamps, of course, which is why you don't get the officer to edit their own footage).

          Nonsensical as ever.

          "Reality: Cameras are a nice idea, but FOI requests against them appear to be a whole lot more work than anyone wants to admit."

          Translation: it's OK for public servants to refuse to account for their actions because they think it's too hard to do so. What a pathetic excuse. If I refused to provide logs to account for my work, I wouldn't get away with "it takes too long" or "it's too much work". Why is this OK for a police officer?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Whatever (profile), 26 Apr 2016 @ 9:47am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Missed it

            "Why the hell would the officer being recorded be the one given responsibility to edit it?"

            Paul, with all due respect, you are a fucking idiot.

            I didn't say the officers would edit the video. I said that when there was a freedom of information request, someone would have to get the video, extract the items in question, and then review them. The time required to do that (if you have ever done any NLE or similar) is insanely long.

            Nobody is saying the officers would edit the footage, the would be fucking insane.

            Please, stop answering my posts, you come off like a fucking douche nozzle every time you do.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Ninja (profile), 26 Apr 2016 @ 10:49am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Missed it

              Well, improve your narrative then.

              There are plenty of ways to fix most problems you mentioned. And some can't be fixed so the solution is: deal with them. Simple as that. There are investments that the private sector won't do because it means losses in the long run. But the govt can go ahead and do it because overall everybody is better with said investments. Accountability is one good example.

              As one example, you can make the camera have a temporary off buttom (ie: turns it off for a determined amount of time). It can be automatically off if the cop checks out to have lunch for instance. And you can set operational standards giving more freedom to the officers while making it harder on them if the camera is off in case their conduct is brought into question.

              There's no excuse for pulling the plug in the body worn cameras.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                Whatever (profile), 26 Apr 2016 @ 5:10pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Missed it

                Temporary off buttons are a very bad idea, as it's likely that during any questionable activity someone will "bump" the button and poof, no video. Cameras only work when you record absolutely everything, the "unblinking eye" and then deal with it after the fact. If you really want to put the screws to questionable conduct, then you have to watch ALL the time, not just when the officer thinks it's good.

                I think it's bad that they are stopping to use the cameras. I do think that they came to realize however that it's both incredibly expensive and very time consuming to turn the raw video into anything usable, and that they were not ready (or able) to support all that came with it.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • icon
                  PaulT (profile), 27 Apr 2016 @ 1:33am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Missed it

                  "Temporary off buttons are a very bad idea, as it's likely that during any questionable activity someone will "bump" the button and poof, no video"

                  Wow, you said something I agree with, insightful even. That is indeed a horrible idea, for the very reason you mentioned. If only you could keep that up instead of lying about people, we could get along.

                  Now, at to why skipping past that recorded video to the timestamps related to the case in hand is too much of a hardship? That's still something you've not bothered to explain in your childish fits. Perhaps you'd like to join the adults and explain why?

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  • icon
                    nasch (profile), 29 Apr 2016 @ 7:22am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Missed it

                    I would say whether it's "too much" of a hardship depends on the department's budget. They can only spend money they've been allocated, and if they don't have personnel available to do the work, then it can't get done. If whoever controls the purse strings wants this done, they have to make sure it's funded.

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            • icon
              BernardoVerda (profile), 26 Apr 2016 @ 9:00pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Missed it

              Don't be so obtuse -- it's digital data.
              Di-gi-tal.

              Any somewhat sensible implementation will be date and time stamped, gps-location stamped, officer-ID stamped, etc -- and automatically indexed immediately upon being uploaded. If they're the least bit clever, they'll provide some sort of additional flagging for case/incident number (and the police union will probably insist on such flagging, to allow flagging bathroom breaks, anyways).

              If the police are too stupid (or too recalcitrant) to have this set up properly, then the poor dears will just have to go by date, time and officer involved, when the incident in question becomes subject to a review -- and if that proves to be too difficult and onerous, then they clearly aren't suited to police work anyhow.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 27 Apr 2016 @ 1:22am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Missed it

              "Paul, with all due respect, you are a fucking idiot."

              No, I'm responding to one, who doesn't understand his own words apparently.

              "I didn't say the officers would edit the video"

              Yes, you did. You said the following:

              "Suddenly, you will discover that you have to spend MORE time than your day was long at work, but even longer to edit it down."

              Meaning that the person taking the video would be the one editing it. If you didn't mean that the officer would be editing his own video, you don't understand what the hell you're saying. This is par for the course, obviously, along with your inability to be civil or use polite language, but your stupidity is fairly astounding for someone who insists on spewing on everything he reads.

              "Please, stop answering my posts"

              As I've said many times - never. I respond to a lot of things, but utter idiocy is something that needs to be corrected. If you don't like this, either refrain from posting on a public forum, or stop being an idiot. Your choice.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Whatever (profile), 26 Apr 2016 @ 5:21pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Missed it

            "Translation: it's OK for public servants to refuse to account for their actions because they think it's too hard to do so. What a pathetic excuse"

            Nah, pathetic is how desperate you are to slam me. You won't even consider a valid issue, and instead dismiss it out of hand. Then again, you avoided taxes by relocating to a tax haven country, so the costs to the taxpayer for things like this isn't relevant to you, is it?

            You can go look online (I suspect you may know how to use Google) and find plenty of police forces facing millions of dollars of costs JUST related to collection and storage of the data, and not even the extraction of it.

            "If I refused to provide logs to account for my work, I wouldn't get away with "it takes too long" or "it's too much work". Why is this OK for a police officer?"

            See, this proves you are a fucking idiot. It's not just a question of PROVIDING the log (video recording and storage is the easy part, not the problem, idiot!). The problem is in extracting the relevant footage from each officer that was at a scene, and vetting it to make sure that no personal information not relevant to this case is on the tape, that no access is granted to "private" or unsearchable locations, and so on. THINK PAST THE END OF YOUR POINTY LITTLE NOSE FOR A MINUTE and you might realize the problem.

            Then again, you are an idiot, so perhaps I expect too much of you.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 26 Apr 2016 @ 5:32pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Missed it

              Coming from an idiot who thinks that exercising a little foresight means that criminals will now always kidnap children to use as human shields, you're not in much position to criticize anyone.

              If it's too much work for the police to go through tons of footage, then it's too much work for anyone. But because they're not authority, somehow video hosting sites are magically capable of doing it.

              What's next? Are you going to claim that drug dealers will now carry sausage and cheese to fuck with sniffer dogs? Oh, wait. You did!

              The only reason you're thinking past the end of your nose is because it's shoved firmly up the rectum of James Clapper...

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              JMT (profile), 26 Apr 2016 @ 6:39pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Missed it

              "You won't even consider a valid issue, and instead dismiss it out of hand."

              Probably because most of the concerns you raise should not be as big a deal as you make out and quite frankly are worth it. Some cops need to be watched, and so do plenty of the citizens cops interact with. All these "problems" need to be dealt with intelligently instead of being used as excuses.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 27 Apr 2016 @ 1:25am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Missed it

              "Then again, you avoided taxes by relocating to a tax haven country"

              Spain's a tax haven? If you mean Gibraltar, I pay nearly 40% income tax and social insurance.

              Again, an idiot and a liar.

              "You can go look online (I suspect you may know how to use Google) and find plenty of police forces facing millions of dollars of costs JUST related to collection and storage of the data, and not even the extraction of it."

              I can also find them facing millions of dollars in lawsuits as a result of the people they abuse and even kill, which is the reason for the cameras in the first place. Guess which situation I think is better? Hint: the one where they may be dissuaded from killing people.

              "The problem is in extracting the relevant footage from each officer that was at a scene, and vetting it to make sure that no personal information not relevant to this case is on the tape, that no access is granted to "private" or unsearchable locations"

              So, the same as I have to do when extracting logs, then. Is reality really that hard for you?

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                Whatever (profile), 27 Apr 2016 @ 6:04pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Missed it

                "I can also find them facing millions of dollars in lawsuits as a result of the people they abuse and even kill, which is the reason for the cameras in the first place. Guess which situation I think is better? Hint: the one where they may be dissuaded from killing people."

                Hi idiot. Nice to see you have no grip on the real world.

                The sad reality is that payouts on lawsuits are handled very differently from annual police budgets. That means that while you or I can stand way back over here and see perhaps a better solution, reality is quite different.

                Also, you can go back and read a book called "Unsafe At Any Speed". The basic concept is that it's cheaper to pay off the occasional lawsuit than it is to fix problems, and that only changes when there is enough pressure to make it happen. It's sad but it's likely still bottom line better for a police force to pay out a lawsuit every couple of years than it is to deal with all of the hassles created by the combination of body cameras and FOI requests.

                "Spain's a tax haven?"

                if you stayed in the UK, you would have paid more than that. There is also the question of where your income is counted, assuming you have any. 40% of NTFM is not too much, is it?

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                • icon
                  PaulT (profile), 28 Apr 2016 @ 12:55am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Missed it

                  "Hi idiot."

                  For someone who constantly claims to be trying to have an adult conversation, you do act like a toddler quite a lot.

                  "The sad reality is that payouts on lawsuits are handled very differently from annual police budgets. "

                  So? Taxpayer money is taxpayer money, no matter how it's budgeted.

                  "The basic concept is that it's cheaper to pay off the occasional lawsuit than it is to fix problems"

                  I'm talking about saving lives and discouraging rampant violence and abuse, and you're talking about money. Think about that.

                  "if you stayed in the UK, you would have paid more than that"

                  I'd also not get any of the major benefits of living in Spain. Not my fault if the Spanish system is beneficial to go with the better climate and lifestyle I moved here for.

                  "There is also the question of where your income is counted, assuming you have any. "

                  2 countries, Gibraltar and Spain. My income comes from Gibraltar, where I earn my income, and then Spain can tax me extra if the local taxes exceed what I've already paid. Like most people who work there, I pay plenty of taxes.

                  Of course, if you were honest instead of a liar and an idiot, you'd have researched that and know, right?

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 26 Apr 2016 @ 5:38am

          Re: Re: Re: Missed it

          Suddenly, you will discover that you have to spend MORE time than your day was long at work, but even longer to edit it down.

          Then multiply it by the number of officers on a given scene, and you start to understand how much of a burden this could be.


          Well, if police in general had found to be the upstanding bastions of law they're supposed to be, then this burden wouldn't exist now, would it?

          Tough shit that all this new work has been created. Maybe if the police would be more proactive weeding out liars from their ranks, then maybe they wouldn't be subject to such scrutiny.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          JBDragon (profile), 26 Apr 2016 @ 12:35pm

          Re: Re: Re: Missed it

          You're not doing that for ALL of the video! You are only doing that for a part of a video that was requested. You request Officer Camera data for 2:35PM 24th, Feb for the incident you're requesting. Anything happened before or after that is left alone. So only a small part of the recording needs anything done to it.


          What happens with a false claim against a cop? Well now no proof either. So it works both ways.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 25 Apr 2016 @ 9:11pm

      Re: Missed it

      Thats BS - you are making up work. Just keep the entire piece, index it and review when warranted. fucking idiot.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Apr 2016 @ 5:40am

      Re: Missed it

      It's more a case of coming to realize that this great new source of information doesn't sort, edit, collate, or organize itself, and when you have multiple officers on the scene, it can end up being a really big amount of work to proving the information just like that.

      Yet ISPs are supposed to do exactly this...and it's no burden for them whatsoever.

      Got it.

      You make excuses more than any 3 people I know.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    CyberKender, 25 Apr 2016 @ 4:36pm

    Not to say anything one way or another on Minooka PD's decision being right or wrong, but the back-end support is more than 'a bit burdensome.'

    Multiply the number of cameras, times an average quantity of video acquired each shift, (Could be a lot, depending on policy. e.g. Camera is recording from start of shift to finish.), but let's say 2GB. Now, multiply that by the retention period mandated by state/county/city law. Is it 90 days? 120? 365? So, as an example: 2GB x 365 days retention x 50 officers = 36.5TB of data. On a server that has proper redundancy and backups, plus the people to manage both the server and the cameras...
    Or, you could go with Taser's cloud offering, and not have to pay or manage for your own equipment, and get unlimited storage, but pay a few hundred dollars per camera, per year.

    Dealing with the video is, indeed, a burden.

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    • icon
      BernardoVerda (profile), 26 Apr 2016 @ 8:42pm

      Re:

      BS.

      This is digital data -- it can be automatically stamped with time-stamp, GPS-data/location, officer ID, etc, and automatically indexed by time, date, location, and officer, plus optionally any appropriate additional flags (eg case/incident number).


      I'd bet any reasonably competent programmer (or even a Linux-enthusiast) could whip up a Bash or Python script to do most or all of this automatically.

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      • icon
        nasch (profile), 29 Apr 2016 @ 7:24am

        Re: Re:

        I'd bet any reasonably competent programmer (or even a Linux-enthusiast) could whip up a Bash or Python script to do most or all of this automatically.

        Only if it doesn't require any redaction.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Apr 2016 @ 5:41pm

    If the administrative staff were burdened by the requests for video footage, then HIRE MORE FUCKING administrative staff members. How is it that common sense thinking like this doesn't factor into the minds of law enforcement officers?

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Apr 2016 @ 7:00pm

    I guess they prefer body bags for their cops when citizens start fighting back since they refuse to hold criminal cops accountable for their actions.

    The more crimes they get away with the more they will push to see what else they can get away with.

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  • icon
    ECA (profile), 25 Apr 2016 @ 7:41pm

    So!

    Lets see...
    Price of flash drives is CHEAP AS HELL..
    Having a system to AUTO COPY DATA ON FLASH? Easy, just insert CODE of person, and dates..
    ERASE drive...INSERT again the next day..

    COULD:
    HD 2-3 terabyte drive..about 62-16 gig recordings per gig..
    Warns when nearing capacity..
    CHECKS FLASH for errors, and warns of BAD flash drive.
    CHECKS recording for SIZE, compare that recording is equal to what a DAY(8+ hours is recorded)
    WARNS if DAY on drive is tampered, changed, SHORT...

    So, whats the problem??

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Whatever (profile), 25 Apr 2016 @ 9:05pm

      Re: So!

      The problem isn't in the collection of raw footage, except that in the long run it's a very large amount of data that has to be ALL preserved in the same manner that you would preserve any evidence.

      The biggest issue is EXTRACTION. A single crime scene could involve a number of officers. You have to find the right dataset, you have to load the full file, you have to locate where the call happened in that video file, extract only the call, and then you have to review everything seen or said on the call to make sure that the material on the video is only related to that crime scene (and no others) and doesn't have any personal information or "private time" that should not be given out (like officer taking a nature break).

      You have to think that everything would have to go past a lawyer as well, maybe the DA, and maybe a privacy officer to assure that nobody's privacy is violated.

      Overall, just recording it and sticking it on a hard drive somewhere is easy. Managing, maintaining, and using the data is the hard part, both time wise and legally.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 26 Apr 2016 @ 2:10am

        Re: Re: So!

        "The problem isn't in the collection of raw footage, except that in the long run it's a very large amount of data that has to be ALL preserved in the same manner that you would preserve any evidence."

        Yet, you don't seem to have a problem with companies like Google being forced to keep data in the same way, IIRC. I wonder why.

        "Managing, maintaining, and using the data is the hard part, both time wise and legally."

        So is doing the same thing with other data including physical evidence, interviews and reports. Yet, that's not too hard and is being done regularly. Why are you opposed to employing competent people to do the same with video footage? Is it perhaps because it's evidence that can be used to implicate the corrupt?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Ninja (profile), 26 Apr 2016 @ 6:36am

        Re: Re: So!

        The 1 million dollar question: So?

        It doesn't matter if it demands management. If it is being effective to reduce police abuse then it should be done, end of the story. The benefits to the public are visible albeit not quantifiable (or not, you can assign values to deaths and settlements caused due to police abuse, no?).

        And the cost of storage is dirty cheap nowadays (plus you have cloud storage) and you can set data retention limits. Ie: 30 days or indefinite if the footage is being used in any ongoing investigation, SPECIALLY if it's on cops themselves. See, easy?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 26 Apr 2016 @ 7:35am

          Re: Re: Re: So!

          That would require forethought and logic, not his forte. But, since he's obviously not understood the issues being addressed in the first place (see his comment above where he implies an officer would be editing his own footage), his understanding of the logistics involved in doing so won't be related to reality in any way.

          It will be interesting to see what he says when a private entity claims that the burden of data retention is too high, however. I wonder if he'll be consistent?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Whatever (profile), 26 Apr 2016 @ 5:17pm

          Re: Re: Re: So!

          The length of time or storage would be "life of any case". When you consider that a simple traffic ticket might take years to wander it's way through the courts, you cannot just arbitrarily toss out the video at 30 days to save storage. You must retain everything/

          " If it is being effective to reduce police abuse then it should be done, end of the story."

          There is always the question of cost. Public services have to live within budgets and within financial constraints as a result, and cannot just do what's right no matter the cost. You have to think of the staggering scale of things and how that relates to cost.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            BernardoVerda (profile), 26 Apr 2016 @ 9:09pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: So!

            I'll bet a case of beer, that consistent use of these cameras would save significantly more, than the investigations and court-cases that the video records prevent or resolve in (relatively) short order, would have cost instead.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Whatever (profile), 28 Apr 2016 @ 10:47am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: So!

              I agree, in court cases video evidence can often lead to a pretty swift conclusion. However, the police here are talking about the volume of requests for video, and the costs related to that. It doesn't seem that all of those requests are to directly show the video in court.

              Can you imagine if every traffic stop (which depending on location might have two cars, 4 cops) leads to 4 videos being requested? The amount of money to pull this off would be insane.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Beefcake, 25 Apr 2016 @ 8:03pm

    A

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Beefcake (profile), 25 Apr 2016 @ 8:05pm

    Work is Hard

    I wonder who puts gas in the cars.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    dogwitch (profile), 25 Apr 2016 @ 9:30pm

    easy way to fix this

    if they dont wear them. they dont get tax payer funds

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Justin Olbrantz (Quantam), 25 Apr 2016 @ 10:08pm

    Could Be a Space Issue

    I worked at one of the biggest hard drive manufacturers for 5 years. You wouldn't believe how frequently fights arose between engineers and IT about company server storage and there not being enough of it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Apr 2016 @ 5:03am

    When the going gets tough, the tough say, "Fuck it," apparently.
    I don't think he said "it"...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Uri, 26 Apr 2016 @ 7:34am

    Managing Digital Evidence Is A Challange

    Copying over from my FB comment:



    I work as a systems engineer in the police body worn camera (BWC) industry, but not the company supply's the camera fielded by Minooka PD. My days are spent explaining encryption, the cloud, training police officers on how to use BWC, and how to make the perfect omelette. One of the biggest challenges when it comes to BWCs, is the sheer amount of data created, not just from a management perspective e.g., how do you index and find evidence, and clearly and very importantly how you handle public records requests.

    In most states citizens can request most information like the video(s) an officer might have recorded while giving out a ticket. If the digital evidence management system (DEMS) used to manage the video isn't sophisticated, the department ends up having to resort to burning CDs or sharing the stat using some other means - though this sounds easy enough. But the volume of these requests can be significant. There are more efficient ways to share digital evidence, and I'm not quite sure how this system accomplished this task, but at a 20 person agency, this could have been an overwhelming burden. You would literally have to hire a single person just to sit there all day and respond to these requests, and the reality is that most police departments have to make a decision: hire more police officers, buy a new patrol car, or another person just to respond to public record requests.

    That's why it's critical for not only the public but more importantly the end user police departments to understand the back end solution to make this tidal wave of digital evidence easy to search, redact and manage.

    Sadly one agency's bad experience can make the entire system of body worn cameras seem like it doesn't work. As the adage says, you often get what you pay for and in this case this clearly seems to be a system that does not work well in the end.

    Meanwhile, we have a solution that's working for nearly four thousand agencies.U

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Eponymous Coward (profile), 26 Apr 2016 @ 7:55am

    Any parent will immediately recognize this behavior. A request (clean your room) becomes a demand, and so the child will comply, but in the shittiest, most half-assed way possible. When problems arise because of the shit implementation of the request (I can't find my tablet because I just threw everything into the closet so my room would be "clean"), the child blames the task and not the execution.

    Dear Stupidville PD: When you half-ass a solution, you only get more problems.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Monday (profile), 26 Apr 2016 @ 12:27pm

    Accountability

    Has this particular Agency been engaged in any alleged illegal, or involved in any egregious or questionable activities in the past? That would be the first area to look at.
    I also believe the decision to release Officers from the "burden" of using Body Cameras will be tested in court. Minooka PD will have to have it explained to them that it is no longer a choice you can simply opt out of. This Minooka Police Chief Justin Meyer is more than likely under the impression that his word is the last word when it comes to the issue of Body Cameras, and their deployment being a burden.

    It has to be, and I'm pretty sure it will be, tested in courts. It will definitely be questioned when their (Minooka PD) Officers have to face the gauntlet questioning by some very upset Parents, or a community, and their legal teams, and Minooka Police Department's only exculpable means of defence would have been a body camera.

    This is also testing the waters for other law enforcement agencies cross country, to say that these cameras are too much of a burden to use any longer. Minooka Police Chief Justin Meyer needs to be knocked down a peg or two and discover he is not at the top of this legal food chain, and any other Police Chief considering acting in like manner, needs to think on carefully how they want to phrase their next sentences.

    I read above, that tax payer funds should also be withheld... I like that idea. Any government funding should also be withheld if a Policing Agency knowingly withdraws from a program designed to not only guard against Bad Policing, but is designed to protect Police when it comes to bogus filings of inappropriate action, and even wrongful death.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 26 Apr 2016 @ 12:44pm

      Re: Accountability

      I'm pretty sure the Illinois legal system is already a sturdy bulwark against legal attacks from the victims of law-enforcement brutality and overreach, it is why the current understanding is that law enforcement officers are, themselves, above the law, since no-one can (or will) pin anything on them, and at very worst (for the officer) he gets dismissed and then re-hired at another precinct.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Apr 2016 @ 5:09pm

    This is IL...to most bankrupt state there is..

    I live next to Minooka. Not the crime-capital of the county/state/country. IL hasn't had a budget in over 10 months. The state isn't paying its bills or anything except the legistators. Minooka is likely waiting for 10months of back state sponsored money that they need to function. They can't hire anyone to handle any extra work whether it's small or large. As "withheld" mentioned above, it's not simple as getting a large hard drive. The IT management of that would be a full time job after a few months and very expensive in redundant hardware to ensure you don't lose any data. Now if this was Chicago doing it...I'd be a little more upset but this is a very small town in the most bankrupt state in the nation.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    DRB, 29 Apr 2016 @ 12:23pm

    BWC Nightmare

    It seems that most of these comments are being made by people that have an anti-police mentality. Every other person seems to believe the police are corrupt, are hiding or manufacturing evidence, are lying on every report they write, are intentionally trying to harass and screw over over the piblic, etc. So, trying to talk rationally with people that have that mindset is futile, but for everyone else, I'll offer some insight.

    First, the cameras, equipment, maintenance, and storage costs are outrageous! Our department spent over $2 million to purchase the cameras and docking stations. We've had them for 2 years and many of the docking stations already need work to keep them going. We are spending 10's of thousands of dollars each year to store the footage, regardless of whether there is any value to it or not. Pretty every conversation an officer has with a citizen is recorded. With over 1000 patrol officers recording all day long, every single day, that's a lot of hours and data.

    Second, if the footage is going to have any usefulness as far as "accountability" goes. Someone has to review that footage. Good luck with that. Unless some complains or the footage is necessary for a case, the footage never gets looked at. Our department tried reviewing footage, but it doesn't make sense to hire people to sit and watch BWC footage all day.

    Third, getting the footage to be usable in court has already become more difficult and is being challenged legally. The courts aren't set up to easily play the footage (which seems ridiculous to me!) I can't just bring my CD showing the traffic stop and expect it will be seen. Even worse, attorneys are now having to subpoena the footage from the individual officers because they technically are the ones that created the footage. Our DA is still struggling with this one, and it's expected to be a legal nightmare.

    Lastly, BWCs have started to train the public and administration that "if it isn't on camera, it didn't really happen." Gone are the days when people trusted the word of a police officer. That 6 month - 1 year background check process to find an honest, trustworthy, respectable, and decent person to uphold the law, treat people fairly, make fair judgements and decisions, etc. is meaningless. Today, they pin the badge on a new recruit as a symbol of respect and trust, then they pin a camera to his chest because "all cops are liars and need to be watched." Our society is turning against the police, and BWCs are an expression of that.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 29 Apr 2016 @ 12:51pm

      Re: BWC Nightmare

      Every other person seems to believe the police are corrupt, are hiding or manufacturing evidence, are lying on every report they write, are intentionally trying to harass and screw over over the piblic, etc. So, trying to talk rationally with people that have that mindset is futile, but for everyone else, I'll offer some insight.

      Obviously not all police are like that, but there are way too many stories of police corruption, dishonesty, and violence.

      Gone are the days when people trusted the word of a police officer.

      With good reason. Police are just like anyone else - likely to lie to protect their interests.

      The rest of your comment - good information. Body cameras are not only not a magic bullet, but probably more expensive and difficult than is generally recognized.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Monday (profile), 29 Apr 2016 @ 1:49pm

      Re: BWC Nightmare

      Sure, it might seem a few individuals are "Anti-Police", but everyone also knows - EVERYONE - that there are alot of really great Cops.

      It's just that I think your comment is short-sighted in that does the cost really qualify, or quantify the safety that Body Cameras bring to bear, on both sides of this debate. Police are not auto manufacturers, and the cost shouldn't have to come down to the price of an ignition switch that works and the cost of a life, or the trust of the Citizenry.

      Ninety-nine times out of one-hundred, BWC's prove indispensable when the Police have failed in doing what is in their job description - period. God forbid, should any member reading this loses a close, or closest loved one and it is because of questionable police conduct; they WILL!!! want some "fucking" answers - while everybody around them hoping they don't have a weapon license, while at the same time, also hoping the answers given, are enough to satiate any blood lust or revenge. It is answers they can be content with.

      Do I "hate" the police? A few of them... yeah, I do. It is because those few turned into bullies, played it a little loose, and when the cuffs came off, their thirty hours of self-defense training was what I was doing by a Wednesday afternoon - every week, for years. Still, no evidence of my assault was to be had, just theirs', and I got the door prize. So, yes, visions can and do become skewed.

      Nevertheless, it does not justify cancelling a program that - I believe the number was 4,400, Policing Agencies use, and use with varying degrees of success. ADAPT. Simple as that. Hold weekly bake sales; get the money! Don't lay down a soliloquy on the "incredible" cost of running cloud storage, and new USBs, or training for a job that almost everyone handles, quite well, every day on their iPhone, or Samsung - a Monkey can operate a cell phone... I said almost everyone, because some of us don't wanna screw Megan Fox and aren't obsessed with our presence and number of followers or likes on the internet.

      And then, you start l̶e̶c̶t̶u̶r̶i̶n̶g̶ talking of processes that are meant to weed the bad from good, and that obviously does not work a hundred percent of the time. And, it does not play if it happens to be a veteran Cop who needs to be looked at for their actions; this is a reality that has happened just like that. Body cameras are a tool, just like the .45 S&W, nothing more - if they don't want that badge of courage becoming a (de)merit badge, they'll wear their damn cameras. A Society only turns against something when that something has failed them so many times, that there is no other course of action except to become hostile to that something. Also, don't make the impressions of a few thousand people, your universal definition of society - they're not even a demographic.

      As for if it isn't on Camera, it will always be your words against mine, and you're the Professional here, right?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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