ARCHIVE

Posts Tagged ‘CCTV systems’

Can CCTV Systems Help Crisis Management in Mass Shootings?

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018

As school and mass shootings become more prevalent in today’s society, the question of “How do we prevent this?” Can CCTV Systems Help Crisis Management in Mass Shootings?is on everyone’s mind. While gun control is the first topic people tend to address when discussing these acts of terror, there is another side to the story that may aide in minimizing the total lives lost in these situations sooner than a gun control reform can. One of the most important purposes of Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) video recordings is to secure a predetermined area using video cameras connected to a video recorder, which in turn creates the video surveillance footage (evidence). By using modern technology to allow 911 dispatchers access to these surveillance cameras in emergency situations, we would be allowing the dispatchers to give the first responders accurate, real-time information.

 

Can CCTV Systems Help Crisis Management in Mass Shootings?

So, what can we do? Yes, there are changes that need to be made in not only our society, but in the world as a whole. But, what can we do right now to minimize the total amount of lives lost when the next mass shooting takes place? What can we do to catch these shooters before more damage is caused? How can we aid first responders and investigators in completing their jobs to the best of their abilities with the best resources possible? In short, we use modern technology to monitor and take control of the situation efficiently and accurately.

 

History of Mass Shootings

While mass shootings are becoming more frequent (an average of 7 mass shootiCan CCTV Systems Help Crisis Management in Mass Shootings?ngs a week in 2017, CNN), they are not new to our culture. The FBI defines a “mass murder” as 4 or more victims in a single incident. The first heavily recorded United States mass murder occurred in September of 1949. Howard Unruh took the lives of 13 people and injured 3 more in the neighborhood of Cramer Hill in Camden, New Jersey. Since that fateful day, the United States has become the country with one of the highest mass shooting rates. Between 1966 and 2018, there have been 150 mass shootings totaling in 1,077 lives lost. Prior to the 1966 shooting at the University of Texas where 18 lives were lost and 30 people were injured, there were 25 mass shootings from the year 1910. Little is known about these early 20th century killings. Twelve of the deadliest shootings have occurred since 2000, with the deadliest occurring just last year in Las Vegas, Nevada where 58 lives were lost and 500 people were injured at the Route 91 Harvest Festival.

 

CCTV and Modern Technology

CCTV surveillance became widely available in the 1970s. There are an estimated 30 million surveillance cameras in the United States. In 2009, Chicago became the “most watched city in the nation” when it linked its estimated 10,000 surveillance cameras with their 911 dispatch center. When a call to 911 comes in, a dispatcher can view a live video of the crime scene as long as it is within 150 feet of a surveillance camera. In the years since Chicago took this initiative, several cities and school districts have followed suit. In 2011, Atlanta, Georgia police began monitoring 100 of the cities surveillance cameras. Atlanta Public Schools gave access to their surveillance cameras to 911 dispatchers in 2014. In 2013, Howard County, Maryland also linked their schools surveillance systems with 911 dispatchers. Near our lab in Rochester Hills, MI, Macomb County is in the process of allowing the Macomb County’s Communications and Technology Center, also known as COMTEC, to gain access to the surveillance systems of all 21 of its school districts.

How does this help inCan CCTV Systems Help Crisis Management in Mass Shootings? the event of a mass shooting? By 911 dispatchers having access to live surveillance footage, they are able to provide first responders with accurate and efficient information. This will then allow the first responders to draft a “plan of attack” that will quickly eliminate the threat so more lives can be saved. Often, in the midst of a mass shooting, 911 dispatchers receive multiple calls with misinformation. Calls stating multiple shooters are present, the location of the shooter that is not accurate, and even that the shooter has left the premises when they in fact have not. With this technology, the dispatcher will be able to quickly see what information received via inbound calls is accurate and what is not.

Surveillance footage is not only helpful during the event, but during the investigation as well. Often, after these tragedies, questions and stories arise of what exactly happened. This is when both CCTV footage and Good Samaritan footage play an integral role. Even if the footage is garbled, pixelated, or otherwise unclear, audio and video forensic experts can enhance the footage so the truth of what transpired can be revealed.

 

So, what can you do?

Talk to your schools principals, district superintendents, local law enforcement, city and state officials, neCan CCTV Systems Help Crisis Management in Mass Shootings?ws outlets, local business and neighbors. Educate them about the importance of CCTV technology and how it can help in emergency situations. Educate yourself on what steps to take if you or a loved one find yourselves in the midst of a mass shooting. Get involved in discussions, don’t sit on the sidelines. Express the importance of alternative solutions to the gun control law regulations and/or political arguments. The solutions expressed in this article are simple to understand and easy to express from the lay persons perspective. You may even find yourself having a conversation with an expert that would find this information valuable.

18: Creating Video Work Product as an Audio Video Forensic Expert

Friday, February 27th, 2015

18: Creating Video Work Product as an Audio Video Forensic ExpertVideo work product is a way to document forensic investigations, like evidence recovery, for reference at a later date. Processes and procedures are documented using a video camera by a forensic expert during a forensic investigation for future use. I have referred back to my video work product many times during the course of a case when I have questions later in the evolution of the case. There are a few different digital video recording platforms that I use when creating ‘video work product’. Each one of these types of systems serves a certain purpose in assisting with a forensic investigation as well as the investigative process.

I personally use the VIEVU LE2 and LE3 body worn cameras. My main use for this body camera in my investigations is recording my forensic process in the field. This includes retrieving evidence from different systems so I can review the video later and include in my report to support the authenticity of my work product and any evidence used in the case.

Another type of digital video camera that I use to produce video recordings is a HDSLR photography camera. In some investigations, a single video recorded perspective may not be sufficient to display the forensic process or document the events. Having another high quality camera with flexibility of perspectives and interchangeable lenses can capture aspects of my investigation that body worn cameras cannot.

Video evidence produced by CCTV systems can help solve crime, as well as reproduce accidents and disasters as they occurred for play back in many different settings. A significant use a video forensic expert has when recording video from a CCTV system is to create an exemplar. This recording is used as a comparison file to the original evidence to help determine the authenticity of the original evidence.

It is a best practice of ours at Primeau Forensics to video record many forensic investigations like the exemplar creation process and evidence recovery so if anyone has any questions during the life of the case, this video work product can be referenced.

Now listen in with Audio and Video Forensic Expert Ed Primeau as he discusses creating Video Work Product for Forensic Investigations.

14: Video Surveillance with David Spreadborough

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

14: Video Surveillance with David SpreadboroughDavid Spreadborough is a CCTV investigator and a police officer for the Cheshire Police Department in Cheshire, England.  He has been a part of the police force for 23 years and began his video forensic career in 2003.  David is a member of the Law Enforcement & Emergency Services Video Association International (LEVA), the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA), the CCTV National Standards Forum and he sat on the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) Working Group for CCTV.  David has taken multiple training courses covering Forensic Video Analysis, CCTV installation and retrieval and Multimedia Evidence Processing. He focuses on CCTV video evidence and has spent the last few years working with CCTV manufacturers to improve the quality of systems as well as the installation and accessibility for law enforcement.

Up until November of 2014, David was the Senior Officer within the Visual Forensic Unit in the Cheshire Police Department and oversaw all major crime video investigations in the department.  It was then decided that Police Officers could no longer hold Forensic positions within the department.  David is currently looking forward to finding new ways to use his expertise as a Forensic Video Investigator and welcomes anyone who is interested in learning more about the field to contact him.

David is dedicated to the development of Forensic Video Analysis and working with new technology to improve the field.  If you would like to contact David, you can find him on linkedin.

Now listen in as Audio and Video Forensic Expert Ed Primeau and Officer David Spreadborough discuss the importance of CCTV systems for law enforcement, the advancements made in video surveillance over the last decade and the challenges being faced by Video Forensic Experts today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Download Edward Primeau’s C/V

Video

 Check out our other Forensic Services Websites: