IP Video Transforms County Prosecutor’s Interview Recording
IndigoVision has supplied an IP Video surveillance and recording system that has transformed the interview process of Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office in New Jersey.
The prosecutor's office currently has a staff in excess of 300 that includes assistant prosecutors, detectives, and clerical and support personnel. The investigative division of the office is supplemented by officers employed by the county sheriff and the county's 12 municipalities. It is the second largest county prosecutor's office in the State of New Jersey.
The new IP Video system was installed by IndigoVision’s local approved partner ADT and replaced an analog/VCR system that was proving to be inadequate for the demanding application of recording law enforcement interviews. Officers could only view video from a small room adjacent to the interview room itself and longer interviews had to be interrupted to change tapes.
IndigoVision’s distributed architecture now allows live and recorded video from any camera to be viewed from anywhere on the network. Redundant and fault tolerant NVRs have replaced the unreliable VCRs and removed the need for tape changes. The ability for multiple users to view video over the network has also aided in the investigative process.
“Following an analysis of competing systems we chose IndigoVision’s solution because it delivered the highest quality video and the best audio and video synchronization,” said Sergeant Gerald Dezenzo, head of computer crimes. “It is vitally important when recording interviews that we have no delay between the audio and video, otherwise it could bring into question the validity of the interview.”
The county prosecutor’s office currently work’s out of three buildings and has 25-30 users that monitor live and recorded video from 20 cameras installed in four interview rooms, cells and public waiting areas.
The Task Force building is home to the Homicide Unit, Special Victims Unit (SVU) and Narcotics Task Force, each of which has its own interview and monitoring room. In addition the SVU also conducts interviews in the Hudson County Child Advocacy Center which is approximately two miles away. All of the buildings are connected via a LAN and video from any camera can be viewed from each location.
Officers use PC workstations running ‘Control Center’, IndigoVision’s Security Management Software (SMS), to view live and recorded video. ‘Control Center’ is licensed on an unrestricted basis within the cost of IndigoVision hardware so workstations can be deployed anywhere on the network for no more than the cost of a PC.
The prosecutor’s office has capitalized on this by installing workstations not only adjacent to the interview rooms but also on the desks of shift supervisors, chief and deputy chief. Officers can use ‘Control Center’ workstations on their desks to view cameras in the cells and waiting areas, allowing them to monitor prisoners and ensure potential witnesses are not being influenced by other individuals.
“Having a fully redundant recording solution for video and audio was an important consideration when choosing the system,” Dezenzo said. “IndigoVision’s NVRs have been configured to automatically record an interview onto two separate recorders for each room, thereby ensuring no part of the interview is lost in the event of a NVR failure.”
Officers in the interview room can initiate recording via a simple key switch with a red light that indicates recording has started. Fully synchronized audio and video is then recorded onto a number of IndigoVision’s standalone, fault-tolerant, NVRs.
The video and audio from a specific interview is mirrored onto two NVRs to ensure full redundancy. All the NVRs are located in proximity to the interview room on a network rack and a hot spare can be brought quickly online in the event of a failure. At the end of each day the video from each NVR is archived over the LAN onto a server located in the Prosecutor’s Office data center. Evidential quality video clips can be exported and played back in court using IndigoVision’s Incident File Player.
Investigators are also using an IndigoVision 9000 H.264 transmitter/receiver unit inside a covert camera enclosure for field surveillance. IndigoVision’s class leading compression technology allows 30fps video to be viewed and recorded remotely from this camera via the internet. The camera PTZ can also be controlled remotely from the main office.