Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Majority Of Deleted Dashcam Videos Can Be Recovered

Channel 5 News Posted: Oct 18, 2010 5:28 PM CDT Updated: Oct 18, 2010 11:13 PM CDT by Brent Frazier NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Dozens of suspected drunk drivers, arrested by Metro Police, might be relieved to learn dash-cam video of their alleged offense is missing in action. Metro Police are just relieved to learn the accidental purging of those computer generated files does not appear to be the department's fault. The incident, in video form, might be off the radar, but suspected DUI offenders are not off the hook. "We make DUI (driving under the influence) cases every day, without video. Obviously, having the video is very persuasive. But these cases will go on, with or without the video," Steve Anderson, Metro's interim police chief, told reporters Monday afternoon, shortly after findings of a third party investigation were released. The Hermitage based company Deloitte, after a careful, forensic review, ruled that Kansas-based ICOP Digital, Inc., is responsible for the communication breakdown that caused the deletion of countless, video files this past spring. ICOP is the vendor who sold Metro the computer software equipment designed to record and archive any video generated by police in-car video. The lengthy report points to a May 25 date as a significant turning point. That's the day Metro PD's computer server got a system upgrade, at the hands of ICOP, explained Keith Durbin, a spokesperson for Metro government. Durbin said the police department's IT department admits to having knowledge of the May 25 system upgrade. Someone, internally, even gave the computer expert access, according to Durbin. What the police department's computer savvy staffers did not plan for, and were not warned of, according to Durbin, was the subsequent electronic fallout; the triggering of settings, already in place, that appear to be the result of that software upgrade. "(Department staffers) did not anticipate (glitches) when the update happened, and therefore - that confluence of events caused the deletions and purges," Durbin told reporters. While this might not be the most favorable exposure for ICOP, this revelation comes as a tremendous relief to Metro PD's top brass, who were accused at one time of tampering or destroying evidence. It's proof that, "no one at the police department had the means or the ability to erase any videos," interim chief Anderson said. NewsChannel 5 was unable to get official comment from ICOP Digital, Inc., but the company's president and CEO has said in past interviews that it was Metro PD who dropped the ball; that the police department seemed unwilling, at least early-on, to listen to company experts trying to avert such a crisis; and that the PD did not successfully install a backup system as an electronic safety net. The 63 DUI traffic stops, currently missing in video form, could be retrievable by Metro's IT department. To read the full report, you can go to http://nashville.gov/ICOP. Email: bfrazier@newschannel5.com

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