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Privacy and Data Storage for Law Enforcement



In 1967, the President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice encouraged all facets of the nation’s criminal justice system to rapidly adopt information technology that could improve their effectiveness, efficiency and fairness. The suggestion applied to law enforcement specifically as well as the justice system overall. Today, the vast majority of the technologies that were merely anticipated in 1967 are realities that are widely available to police departments throughout the country.


Data Storage and Law Enforcement

Now, police departments record an exorbitant amount of video footage that can be used as evidence of crimes. It’s the responsibility of those departments to ensure that footage is managed and stored appropriately so that it remains admissible in court and available to prosecutors.


How long a police department needs to store footage from body-worn cameras varies greatly from state to state and it sometimes depends on the nature of the crime the footage captured. Videos of minor traffic infractions may only need to be stored for 30 – 45 days while footage of a driver who’s under the influence may need to be retained for three years or more. If a video has captured someone committing a federal crime, it may need to be stored indefinitely.


In 2016, over 10 million arrests were made across the United States, not including arrests made for minor traffic infractions. A typical body camera will record at least one terabyte of video ever year. Footage from body cams is normally not the only kind of video a police department might have to hold onto. A department may also have to store surveillance footage and videos captured by drones, for example.


With the need to store so much video for varying lengths of time that can stretch over years or even decades, police departments need to examine their storage needs in the context of the long-term and with growing storage requirements in mind. Given all the different kinds of data a typical police department must store and keep private, law enforcement has data storage requirements that can be a challenge to fulfill.


Keep Things Open

While some police departments have chosen proprietary storage systems, it’s advisable to keep a law enforcement data storage platform open. If you go with a closed storage platform, it may be difficult, if not impossible, for critical data to be shared with the parties and applications that need it.


In addition, an open storage platform will enable a law enforcement agency to implement the most ideal data storage solutions today and in the future. Open data storage systems provide the scalability and flexibility many police departments might need as technology and their mandated storage requirements change as they move forward.


What SanDirect Has to Offer

While finding the right kind of data storage technology for law enforcement can be a challenge, it’s not impossible. At SanDirect, we offer an array of data storage solutions that will work seamlessly in police departments and municipalities of any size regardless of the volume of video they record. Read about the partners with which we offer data storage technologies now and contact SANDirect with any questions you might have.

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