Today, more than ever, organizations in the government sector are striving for transparency. Many sweeping police accountability and transparency bills are currently making their way through legislation nationwide. Just last year, a senate bill in Colorado (20-217) was announced which mandates that all video and audio records of incidents, in which there is a complaint of peace officer misconduct, must be released to the public within 21 days after the complaint is made.
Bill 20-217, and others like it around the country, place a large weight on departments to meet fast and demanding release deadlines for body worn camera footage. Departments are often left scrambling to find the help they need in order to remove any private information from each video before release. While some larger departments might have the capability to redact information from video internally, many organizations must rely on outsourced solutions. Sometimes internal reaction work is done quite hastily and mistakes are compounded by poor software solutions and under-trained employees.
Located in Denver, Colorado, Focal Forensics is a company committed to helping organizations redact and release video evidence in a secure and timely manner. We specialize in handling digital media evidence and take great pride in our video redaction offering. By removing the burden of video redaction entirely, departments can spend more time on serving their communities while conserving department resources.
Video redaction is a complex and often labor intensive process. The human eye is well versed at recognizing many facial features in low light from long distances.
Unfortunately, a similar feat with current automatic recognition solutions (AI) that claim to have 100% accurate redaction or reduce time by 90% are far from being reliable or time saving at all. The amount of work needed in order to fix the errors caused by automatic recognition platforms is significant.
At Focal Forensics, we pride ourselves on being the most accurate video redaction service due to our rigorous quality assurance program, which involves a manual frame by frame review of each video before being released back to each client. To put this into perspective, within a 10-minute video nearly 18,000 individual images are reviewed for accuracy. This process is necessary to eliminate the risk of exposing any private or unnecessary information.
Focal Forensics employs a combination of different redaction tools, often requiring the flexibility of human and AI interaction. Additionally, certain tools are better at picking up different pieces of information, i.e. license plates, house numbers, identification cards, or facial features. We have the unique ability to adapt quickly, which can be crucial when time is of the essence in today’s world of ever-shortening deadlines.
The experts at Focal Forensics understand this pressure. They have been trained to use a wide variety of time saving tools, some of which have AI and automatic tracking built in, while others are more manual for unstable and complex videos. There are certain circumstances including low light, heavy movement, large crowds, and flashing lights which hinder the ability of AI solutions and sometimes force our team to use a more manual approach. When receiving complex video footage, we prefer getting the work done accurately the first time around, especially when there is no room for error.
The advent of body worn camera footage has brought as many benefits to law enforcement as challenges. The team at Focal Forensics deeply respects the efforts of law enforcement in their quest for widespread police accountability. By helping the transparency process along, our work is highly beneficial to the general public and very rewarding. Our team is dedicated to providing outstanding redaction services during a time of unprecedented change and unique challenges.