Meeting Your Statutory Responsible for 180 days and Beyond

The introduction of body camera video files along with car dash camera files has created a storage nightmare for many municipalities.  For many the answer was using cloud-based storage that was included with their camera.  While this is an easy way to manage storage, it represents both a short-term and long-term risk.

A major provider recently offered a “free one-year” trial of their cameras to every police department in the United States. The idea is to capture and preserve potential evidence of wrong doing by the police and or citizens during police actions.  Many assume that the provider has at least some responsibility for the data if “something” happens while it is uploaded to the “cloud.”  This is not the case.

Major BWC Provider is not responsible for your data and you signed the contract.

Here are the terms you signed if you are a client of the largest provider of BWC and electric shock guns in the United States:

As seen in the provider’s trial contract, the provider takes zero responsibility for the data.  In fact, the call out of a “third party provider” does not even say if the third party is CJIS approved.  This represents a risk to the community that goes far beyond a lost file.

It is time for every agency to rethink how they use the cloud for both the minimum storage period and long-term preservation of all the digital evidence used in prosecution. The use of on premise secure archives reduces risk and can help meet the statutory requirements for preservation of evidence.

A secure archive along with secure email or a specialized storage gateway allows law enforcement agencies to preserve evidence for years and sometimes decades. The responsibility for preserving evidence falls to the police and the production of evidence for discovery and trial falls to the district attorney office. Once a person is indicted, all evidence should be sent to the district attorney’s office in a secure archive.

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