A lmost daily there is a story about the demand for body worn video devices to be used by law enforcement agencies across the globe. There is also a lot of discussion about the Federal funding available to US police departments for this new camera technology – in May this year the Justice Department announced $20 million in grants, towards the $75 million the Obama administration requested over three years. What this funding doesn’t cover – and the biggest challenge faced by agencies in implementation – is how to build out a storage infrastructure to manage and protect the vast amount of data these devices produce. This challenge is compounded by new devices that support higher resolutions and are used by increasing numbers of officers per department.
This has been the thread of conversations I’ve had with everyone from large metropolitan police departments to small municipalities and campus police. In response to the challenges posed by factors such as growing retention times and pending legislation governing the use of this technology, the Security Industry Association recently formed the Government Affairs Committee on Body Worn Video Technology. The SIA invited select technology leaders in the surveillance industry, with me having the privilege of representing Quantum, to provide guidance on best practices and help educate the industry and lawmakers about what is possible.
I recently was invited to discuss the challenges presented by body worn video with Tom Temin on his “Federal Drive” program for Federal News Radio. Much like the smartphone market, some camera manufacturers are focused on providing a lower cost device, making their money on a data plan which is delivered by a cloud-based service. When confronted with those costs, some of the departments I’ve spoken with simply put their program on hold.
There is a solution, which if implemented can help departments across the globe speed up the adoption of this technology and valuable tool. Quantum’s tiered storage approach allows law enforcement agencies to achieve their total capacity requirements much more cost effectively, and because of the way our StorNext file system works they can manage high-performance disk, high-capacity disk, file-based tape, and incorporate cloud services as easy as managing the c: drive on their laptop. Respected industry publications such as Route Fifty are calling attention to this hybrid storage approach, because it keeps law enforcement professionals focused on their mission of protecting people and property vs. needing to become data managers.
Want to Learn More?
Follow Wayne on Twitter at @QTMSurveillance.