BODY-WORN VIDEO: ACCOUNTABILITY IN THE DIGITAL AGE

Police and law enforcement oversight in the modern era is an increasingly complex and popular topic, with all signs pointing toward the widespread adoption of body-worn cameras for officers and other personnel who regularly make contact with the public. A recent poll shows that 76% of Millennials in the United States support mandatory body-worn cameras for police officers. Meanwhile, this technology continues to gain popularity throughout the public sector, including administrators at a school district in Virginia who are set to begin recording interactions with students.

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Photo courtesy of Reuters/Al Seib/Pool

The benefits of body-worn video include more plea deals and less court time, a reduction in citizen complaints and allegations of misconduct, and increased accountability for both officers and subjects of investigations. However, there are many challenges inherent in adopting new technologies, such as financial concerns surrounding purchasing agreements with vendors, as well as costs associated with data storage and equipment maintenance. Despite the popularity of these programs nationwide, many citizens also have concerns about the implementation of policies and procedures regarding when and how recordings are captured, and the degree of control officers have over these devices.

Another major consideration for agencies utilizing body-worn cameras is the question of access to recordings; in other words, who gets to see the footage, and when? Some city and state governments have made these recordings public almost immediately, while others have exempted body-camera footage from public records requests. Several states have begun passing laws regulating the release of body camera videos, although many officials question whether legislation on such matters is even necessary, citing the desire of different agencies to forge their own policies and guidelines to meet their individual needs. Ultimately, decisions on when and how to release these videos will have to balance the need to comply with public records requests while simultaneously protecting sensitive information, such as the identities of adult and child victims, witnesses, and other parties present during police contact.

Agencies looking to solve problems related to data storage and the release of videos can turn to transcription as a viable solution. Net Transcripts is the leading provider of confidential transcription and translation services to law enforcement and criminal justice agencies throughout the nation. Our professional typists will accurately transcribe body-worn video recordings, producing valuable evidence which can be easily redacted to protect sensitive information while satisfying the need for disclosure. We can also translate any foreign languages spoken in a recording, providing valuable context to the events captured by a body-worn camera or other recording device. Please contact a representative for more information regarding the quality, security, and user-friendliness of the services provided by Net Transcripts.

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2016 CHIA Conference

CHIA LogoHomicide investigators, prosecutors and death investigation professionals throughout the Western United States will join the California Homicide Investigators Association this week for the 47th Annual CHIA Conference, February 29 through March 4 at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas. Many of our nation’s high-profile cases from the last several years will be discussed, including the Boston Marathon bombing, the 2012 Aurora shooting, homicide cases of Aaron Hernandez and Jodi Arias, and more.

Net Transcripts is the industry leader in providing accurate, confidential transcription for law enforcement and criminal justice agencies. We specialize in the unique terminology and processes associated with homicide investigations, and our Web-based platform makes it easy to transfer your recordings to us in a secure, user-friendly environment. Contact us today for a free trial offer to experience the quality and increased efficiency of outsourcing your transcription needs.

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CDAA National Body Cam Technology & Policy Summit and Expo

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Policy makers and leadership personnel will join the California District Attorneys Association this week for the National Body Cam Technology & Policy Summit and Expo, February 22-24 in Garden Grove, California at the Hyatt Regency Orange County. Topics for the week include practices and case law related to facial recognition, privacy issues, chain of custody for evidence, data security and more. The event will also feature exhibits from vendors in related fields such as body-worn cameras, drone technology and data storage.

Net Transcripts can turn your body-worn video into professionally typed, accurate transcripts. Our Web-based Transcript Management Center provides an encrypted method of transfer while tracking the chain of custody to ensure the security of your data. Contact a representative to learn more about our user-friendly, confidential transcription solution.

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2016 CDAA Winter Workshop

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District Attorneys and other Criminal Justice professionals throughout the State of California will join the California District Attorneys Association this week for the 2016 CDAA Winter Workshop at the Monterey Marriott, January 19-22 in Monterey, California. This week’s schedule includes committee meetings and training on a host of topics, as well as luncheons and roundtable discussions designed to foster the exchange of information and innovation in the criminal justice field.

Net Transcripts is the leading provider of confidential transcription services for Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice agencies. From jail phone calls to defendant interviews, we will transcribe your audio and video recordings with expert proficiency and guaranteed accuracy. Contact us today to learn more about how Net Transcripts can help lower your costs, increase efficiency and improve conviction rates for your agency.

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MYRTLE BEACH POLICE PRESENTS: DON’T GET GRINCHED!

Police in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina have created an entertaining video to deliver some helpful holiday tips:

Hopefully, these safety tips will keep The Grinch away for everyone this holiday season, but a few criminals will inevitably manage to steal someone’s Christmas. When holiday disasters strike, police departments across the nation can count on Net Transcripts’ fast, reliable and accurate service to help solve cases quickly and efficiently. Officers and administrative staff can spend less time typing and more time spreading holiday cheer.

Contact us today to find out how Net Transcripts can help your agency to lower costs and save valuable time by transcribing your dictated reports, recorded interviews and more!

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2015 CALEA FALL CONFERENCE

200x137xgoldstandardsnew11.png.pagespeed.ic.pNqupOB2o3Law Enforcement professionals from across the nation will join the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) for their Fall Conference this week at the Hyatt Regency at Miami Convention Center, November 18, 2015 through November 21, 2015. CALEA’s Accreditation Programs are designed to improve public safety services in all aspects, including formalizing management procedures, establishing personnel practices, and increasing confidence in law enforcement agencies throughout their respective communities. The conference will feature workshops on a broad range of topics as well as exhibits from a variety of vendors and services.

 

From dictated field reports to recorded interviews, Net Transcripts provides the ideal transcription solution for law enforcement agencies. Contact us today to find out how our secure, accurate and fast service can help save time and decrease operational costs for your department.

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2015 FLORIDA HOMICIDE INVESTIGATOR’S ASSOCIATION (FHIA) CONFERENCE

FHIA logoHomicide investigators, prosecutors, and death investigation professionals throughout the State of Florida will be joining the Florida Homicide Investigator’s Association (FHIA) this week for their annual conference, November 16, 2015 through November 20, 2015 at the Marriott Lake Mary Hotel. The FHIA provides training and information related to homicide investigation strategies and advances in forensics, as well as an environment for networking and discussion among the top investigators and prosecutors in Florida.

Net Transcripts provides accurate, confidential transcription of audio and video recordings obtained in homicide investigations. Contact us to learn more about how we can increase investigative efficiency for your department and help expedite the prosecution of criminals in homicide cases.

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GROWING ETHNIC POPULATIONS PRESENT COMMUNICATION CHALLENGES FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT

Recent turmoil across the globe has led to an increasing migrant population in the United States. The Obama administration is planning to relocate 10,000 people from Syria alone in the next year, which some local government officials see as a potential societal and economic boon. While there has been some pushback from several groups of concerned citizens throughout the country, the general consensus is that an increasing number of refugees will be starting new lives in American cities both small and large.

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Refugee women learning English as part of employment readiness training run by the International Rescue Committee in Tucson, Arizona. Photo courtesy of Peter Biro/IRC.

New residents often equate to new challenges for law enforcement, as a recent report from the Center for Immigration Studies indicates that 21 percent of U.S. residents speak a foreign language at home. The largest percentage increases from 2010 to 2014 were among speakers of Arabic, Urdu, Hindi, Chinese, Hmong, Gujarati and Persian. Speakers of Spanish and Tagalog also had large numerical increases during this time period. Meanwhile, sanctuary cities across the nation refuse to cooperate with federal immigration officials in turning over immigrants who are in the country illegally, even as a recent report by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement found that 58 percent of illegal immigrants still at large between January and September of 2014 had prior felonies or violent misdemeanors.

 

With our vast network of resources for virtually any language, Net Transcripts is a proven solution for law enforcement agencies requiring transcription and translation of foreign language recordings and other communications obtained throughout the course of investigations. We can also translate any public notices, announcements or other written documents from English into a variety of languages in order to improve communication between public safety officials and emerging ethnic communities. Contact Net Transcripts today to learn more about the various translation and transcription services we provide.

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2015 Washington Homicide Investigators Association Conference & Expo

Washington Homicide Investigators AssociationHomicide investigators, analysts, prosecutors and other law enforcement professionals from the state of Washington and regions of the Pacific Northwest have joined the Washington Homicide Investigators Association (WHIA) in Shelton, WA for the organization’s Annual Conference and Vendor Expo, May 13 – 15, 2015. The annual event – now in its third year – sets itself apart by replacing instructional lecture with high-profile and varied case studies, led by the investigators and prosecutors involved with the cases. The schedule for 2015 draws on “lessons learned” from prominent homicide investigations in Oregon, Tacoma, Seattle, Massachusetts and Canadian provincial capital Regina. The three-day series of presentations is complemented with a vendor expo or relevant products and services, as well as evening networking opportunities.

Net Transcripts serves homicide investigations across the nation with fast, accurate and confidential transcription of high-profile recordings obtained from the interview room, wire taps, jail calls, and more. Our services expedite the investigative process and help turn recordings into evidence to prosecute criminals in court. Send us an info request to learn more about how our services can benefit your department.

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Fighting Crime from the Sky: Drones and UAVs for Law Enforcement

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles are being used by more police departments. Photo courtesy Wikipedia

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles are being used by more police departments. Photo courtesy Wikipedia

Across the nation, drones are taking off.  The devices – also called Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, or UAVs – are popular with hobbyists for piloting and capturing aerial footage, and have been positioned by corporation giants such as Amazon as a method for delivering goods to consumers. While drones have also been used for illicit activity such as smuggling drugs past border patrols or airlifting packages to inmates over prison fences, the devices also have imminent potential as a tool for law enforcement operations.

Drones can be an eye in the sky for search-and-rescue, providing an advantageous viewpoint while protecting the search team from hazardous conditions. The aircraft can also quietly and efficiently search for individuals at large – such as escaped inmates – and provide intel to officers necessary for search warrants. For SWAT team operations, piloted drones can enter dangerous situations ahead of officers to gather visual intelligence, or deploy non-lethal munitions to incapacitate violent criminals.

Law enforcement agencies nationwide are already using drones in limited capacities. In February of 2015, the Michigan State Police became the first agency certified to use drones anywhere within state boundaries. Typically, law enforcement use of drones must be approved through the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which awards a Certificate of Authorization for a designated area only. The state police agency has already purchased one drone for $158,000 and is training to deploy the device to scout for missing individuals, as well as to take pictures of traffic accidents, fires and disasters for use in investigations.

Other law enforcement agencies are working to prepare policies for use of UAVs and testing newly-purchased equipment. The Jackson, MS Police Department recently displayed the devices for a demonstration in April, but is still considering the implications of purchasing and putting the UAVs to use, according to the Police Chief. Another early adopter in October of 2014 – the Grand Forks Sheriff’s Department (ND)– was the first law enforcement agency given permission to fly the devices at night. The fleet of four aircraft has been used in 11 missions so far, primarily to provide a new perspective on traffic accidents and in one instance, to hunt fugitives thought to be hiding in corn fields. Internationally, UAVs have been used in policing in India, Sweden, and other countries. The UK’s Sussex Police has been awarded an amount roughly equivalent to $380,000 to try out the devices, heralding the technology as a safe, effective intelligence-gathering tool in situations where patrols are dangerous for the officers.

Police use of drones has gathered controversy that sometimes keeps the devices grounded, however. Civil rights groups have opposed the use of the aircraft by law enforcement without proper guidelines, citing concerns over abuse of mass surveillance of citizens. As demand for the devices for crime-fighting grows, police agencies will need to develop protocols for use that address these concerns.

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