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Using Tivo Type Technology to Catch Crooks

Techstination feature for Friday, May 23, 2003

Using Tivo type technology to catch crooks. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Instead of those video tape recording systems used in many patrol cars around the country these days, IBM has been testing hard drive digital video recorders. The Yakima, Washington PD is among seven law enforcement agencies running pilot projects with the system and Captain Jeff Schneider says it has some big advantages over the old tapes... including what is called pre-event recording...

"What you would traditionally capture, let's say in a video system, a VHS video system, you're going to get an officer stopping a car and then you're going to get the officer's contact. With the pre-event recording you're going to get the original offense, let's say running the red light. You're going to see the violator run the red light and then you're going to get the whole contact. So that's a huge, huge thing."

The video is automatically indexed... on the removable hard drive... allowing it to be stored indefinitely on department servers...

"An agency this size, we would have had to keep upwards of 70 thousand video tapes. And of course that means a gigantic room with video tapes, personnel to catalog them, index them. And then when they want to go back to a particular incident, you've got somebody sitting at a VCR with a fast forward button and the pause button trying to scan through video. Well that's not a very efficient way to do business."

While it does have competition in the digital video field... IBM is hoping, with the thousands of law enforcement agencies around the country, that it will collar a significant new business. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.