How QueTel’s Redaction Center can ease your video burden
Outsource the redaction of BWC video for fast, thorough and secure processing
The following is paid content sponsored by QueTel.
By Police1 BrandFocus Staff
Body-worn cameras and video have become the standard for many police agencies. In addition to collecting evidence for court, the videos provide an important accountability tool to aid in community relations, to calm sensitive situations or to satisfy a FOIA or media request.
But privacy remains a key concern. Law enforcement agencies need to redact BWC video to obscure confidential information and protect the privacy of minors, bystanders and other innocent citizens (as well as undercover agents) when video is released.
The Redaction Center
Redaction creates a costly and time-consuming burden for police agencies. To meet this need, QueTel has launched the Redaction Center, where agencies can outsource their redaction to skilled technicians trained to redact faces and other sensitive subject matter in accordance with each client agency’s policy.
To use the Redaction Center, an agency posts a video to QueTel’s secure website and sends QueTel its redaction and privacy policies and any special instructions. Technicians review the video and provide an estimated cost of the effort by email. Within an agreed timeframe (generally three days), the Redaction Center provides the redacted video for review and approval before returning it to the agency.
Key benefits include:
1. Quick Turnaround
The demand for BWC video is often unpredictable, making it difficult to plan for staffing, and police agencies are saddled with time-consuming redaction when preparing for court or public disclosure. These tasks pull police personnel away from other important duties, and many departments lack individuals trained in the specific skills required for this work.
The QueTel Redaction Center staff is dedicated to redaction full-time. The average turnaround is three days, with the option to expedite. This means no down time for officers or agency evidence managers, who can devote their attention to other pressing tasks.
2. Quality Assurance
Body-worn camera videos are different from fixed-point surveillance videos that are recorded from a steady visual perspective. The challenges BWC videos present to a redactor are constant movement of the subjects and a perspective that shifts as the officer wearing the camera moves.
QueTel’s ReDaQ software, developed specifically to manage the challenges of BWC video, enables frame clipping, segment extraction, voice distortion and synchronized multi-camera incident display. ReDaQ zeros in on targets and follows them as they move, picking them up when they reappear.
But no computer can fully comprehend the broader situational context. To provide comprehensive redaction and privacy protection, the Redaction Center combines software tools with human judgment, peer review and quality control measures. Video editors examine each video, identifying and marking targets to be blurred with the software tools.
Because laws and policies vary widely, the Redaction Center follows the policy and instructions provided by each agency, as well as any specific notes on individual video files. After an internal quality control review, the video is posted for review and approval or correction by the agency.
This review process allows agencies to ensure that their privacy and disclosure needs are met before accepting custody of the redacted videos. Approved files are then downloaded, along with the chain of custody and citations of each redaction.
3. Secure Processing
Digital video files provide essential evidence, and careful attention must be paid to ensure the integrity of the data. The Redaction Center provides a CJIS-compliant network and procedures, as well as a clear chain of custody for each video and means to prevent copying of the files.
Clients can upload video and notes to the Redaction Center’s secure cloud or grant editors access to the agency’s system. The Redaction Center uses dual-factor authentication – two independent user credentials – and encryption for added security.
BWC video provides critical evidence in court, and releasing video to the public helps build trust by providing a first-person perspective to counter negative speculation.
“It is unlikely that BWC video redaction can ever be fully automated,” said James Cleaveland, president of QueTel, “but the Redaction Center provides customized service that combines software tools with the judgment of skilled technicians to ease the administrative burden of this critical task.”
See the QueTel Redaction Center’s work in the news: Watch the video at FOX 5 DC.