From Capture to Court
Beyond shoplifting and robberies, ‘active shooters’ have probably become the most identifiable kind of security incident happening today. David King, Sales Manager at Milestone Systems confirms: “We’ve been assisting law enforcement for the last 16 years, and now we are seeing a transition of these same needs for the education and corporate environments.”
Incident Management is not a new trend in the security world. In response to government customers and other law enforcement authorities, as well as for insurance and retail industry needs, Milestone has been building tools for handling safety and security incidences for many years. – Tim Palmquist, VP Americas at Milestone Systems
Incident Alerts, Analyses and Response
For example, Alarm Management in Milestone video software is designed for viewing, prioritizing and sharing alerts when anything unusual is detected in the video. After the video system instigates alerts, the next steps in the security process are investigating and analyzing the video. Milestone software provides Sequence Explorer with thumbnail images from the cameras for fast searching and overview when researching what has happened. BriefCam, a Milestone Solution Partner, provides another very useful investigative tool, their Syndex Video Synopsis software, which was developed for customer needs to search super-fast through hours of recorded video to find critical data in just minutes.
Response to an incident will depend on what is discovered, but many options with Milestone XProtect Corporate include comprehensive Rules functionality that can automatically trigger actions like locking down doors or gates, or engage integration with panic buttons if off-limits areas are breached, etc.
Milestone’s open platform also has integrations with GPS location identification systems like The Hawkeye Effect, providing precise information on events as they happen. Add to that the Shotspotter gunshot detection and it becomes a multiple integration with the video that reacts to audio pickup of the sounds of gunfire, identifies the precise location and likely direction of the criminal, and triggers cameras to move to show the necessary information for better response and capturing evidence.
Video Push is a hot function for Milestone Mobile users today, where officials and guards on-the-go can send video of an incident from their smartphone cameras to a central XProtect system and command center – or vice versa: the command center can push vital video to roaming officers so they know what’s going on before they arrive and can be better prepared.
Sharing the Evidence
Beyond the initial identification and response that comprises Incident Management, there is the end reason for using video: for evidence, resolution or prosecution. So next in the security process, once the video is gathered, is being able to share it easily and effectively.
Milestone software has features like Bookmarking and easy exporting functions. XProtect 2014 launched Storyboarding, which includes video sequences from different or overlapping time intervals from multiple cameras in the same export. Storage of the video is handled by many leading hardware providers from BDCVideo to Dell, EMC Isilon, HP, IBM, NetApp, Quantum, Pivot3, Promise Technology and Seneca, to name a few.
David King reports that trends today also include longer retention time for video evidence (such as murder trials brought up for review a year or more later, for example). Milestone Solution Partner SoleraTEC has a special server-to-CD solution for just such extra long-term archiving and retrieval needs.
There are tools today for every step of the security process, and they are only getting better as the technology continues to be developed. Open platform video software like Milestone ensures they can be unified into one efficient solution.
Ensuring the End Goal: Resolution
Note: incident management is only the first step in the continuum.
You’ve got to look further than just the initial incident capture needs with video. Why do you have video in the first place? Not just to get an alarm about a situation and respond, but also because down the line, you need to process all the information to make a case and resolve it. – Reinier Tuinzing, Strategic Alliance Manager Americas for Milestone Systems
Tuinzing surmises that incident management is largely for security guards and mobile officers or other first responders, whereas evidence management is the purview of law enforcement personnel. Also called Case Management, this is differentiated by three things:
- Digital Media Evidence – where ALL information about an incident is available through an efficient, unified platform. This means not just video but also audio files, phone data like call times, locations and texts, photo documentation of crime scenes and officer/witness reports.
- Authentication of the evidence is critical to its usability in courts of law. This relates to how video is handled; it can’t just be copied and pasted into an evidence file. It must be tamper-free, unmodified material. For example, Milestone software offers ‘encapsulation’ of the video with its Evidence Lock feature and authentication through digital signature of the original footage and encryption of the video that prevents hacking or tampering.
- A clear Audit Trail from proper case management of evidence ensures the necessary support for resolution and prosecution by the authorities in the courts of law.
Tuinzing backs up this perspective: “We are seeing a lot of project specifications for integrations with our video management software that include more than just video data. The evidence has to be presentable as a full case with all the digital evidence on one platform.”
The conclusion for the partner channel is to think more broadly than just one area of security, and think long-term for future-proof solutions that are flexible and able to expand with other systems and devices. Keep ramping up your IP expertise, explore value-added integrations and make the convergence of multiple systems on a unified platform your mantra for success.
by Courtney Dillon Pedersen, Communications Manager, Milestone Systems