Tag Archives: police transcription

Helpful Hints for Recording Interviews & Dictating Reports

Net Transcripts is the leading provider of confidential transcription and translation services for law enforcement and criminal justice agencies. While we pride ourselves on our 98.8% Accuracy Guarantee, high quality recordings that are clearly audible will always result in more accurate transcripts. With this in mind, our team has assembled the following list of tips and tricks for producing the best possible recordings for transcription.

Officer Dictation

An officer dictates his report.

Microphone Placement

Whether your recording takes place in an interrogation room or in the field, your device will be capturing audio through a microphone. For dictated reports with only one party speaking, best practice is to keep the microphone between six and twelve inches from your mouth in order to produce clear audio without distortion.

For interviews and other recordings with multiple parties involved, you might be tempted to move your device back and forth as each party speaks; however, this can create unintentional noise and variations in volume which can make participants difficult to understand. Instead, try to hold the recorder very steady throughout the interview or place it on a stable surface, preferably at an equidistant point from each person. Interview rooms are often equipped with built-in recording devices, but they may not always be situated in the best locations – often concealed in the walls or ceiling. Try and utilize a secondary recorder if possible, placing it as described above. These techniques will help keep input volumes consistent and will result in a more accurate transcription of your recording.

Background Noise

Throughout the course of an investigation, it is very common for law enforcement interviews to be conducted outdoors. Unfortunately, this often leads to unavoidable background noise which can hinder the clarity of your recordings. To minimize this effect, try to utilize natural barriers to block noise as much as possible. For example, if traffic noise is a concern, position your subject with their back toward the street, and keep your recording device directly in front of them so that their body blocks some of the noise from being picked up by the microphone.

Even in a controlled, indoor environment, extraneous noise can still impact the audibility of a recording. Be aware of your surroundings, including air conditioning units, blowing vents, refrigerators, radios and televisions. Try to avoid shuffling papers and dragging objects like chairs or tables, as the sound from these sources will make your recordings more difficult to understand clearly. Whenever possible, keep doors and windows closed, and try to limit access to your recording space in order to avoid interruptions.

Crosstalk & Rapid Speech

When multiple parties are speaking simultaneously, it can be difficult to discern what any one person is saying. Try to refrain from talking over your subjects, and if you can, restrict your interviews to one party at a time in order to cut down on crosstalk and unintelligible speech.

Dictated reports can be greatly improved if you speak clearly and annunciate. When you fly through your words, your tongue and lips can’t keep up with your mind, so you drop important vowels and consonants, causing your listeners to miss your meaning. Speak in a loud, clear voice, and take your time with each sentence rather than thinking about what’s coming next.

Troubleshooting Equipment

Be sure to check the battery in your recording device before you get started to prevent the loss of vital recordings. Test new devices and familiarize yourself with the controls before deploying them in the field. Your department’s IT staff can be a valuable resource for preventing potential issues before they occur.

If you’re looking for a recording solution that won’t break your budget, Net Transcripts offers a Dial-in Dictation Line as well as our Mobile App for iPhone and Android devices, both at no additional cost to our customers. Contact us today to learn more about the benefits of outsourcing with Net Transcripts.

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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.

camera

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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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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