What Recording Capital Cases Shows PDs about the Impact of Recording Equipment

When the Public Act 93-0206 became effective in Illinois in July of 2005, the Chicago Police Department along with all other PDs throughout Illiniois were required to electronically record all criminal cases that involved voluntary or involuntary manslaughter. This was just the first step. Learn what implications this led to and why recording interviews has made a positive impact.

PDs in Illinois and now around the country have found that electronically recording interviews of suspects, witnesses, and other key individuals involved in a case achieves three primary objectives, all three of these items are outlined in depth in the Police Chief article Chicago’s Electronic Recording of InterrogationThese objectives include:

  1. Simplicity
  2. Accessibility
  3. Reliability

The last thing that investigators need is an additional burden or distraction in the investigation process, and the introduction of recording devices both on-the-go and in interview rooms initially (and in some places) met with an ease of use objection. Law enforcement officials were reluctant to use technology or equipment that would burden the process or introduce a distraction of any kind. Today’s digital electronic recording solutions provide ease of use with one-touch functions and automatic file storage capacities in equipment like iRecord’s.

Another crucial objective that PD’s have recognized is the need for the use of the digital format MPEG-4. According to the Police Chief article,

The technical staff insisted that the recording be made in an open format and would not tolerate a proprietary viewer. Their reason was simple: a digital video file created today may not be retrievable in the future if nonstandard industry formats were used. The MPEG-4 format allowed us to stream the digital video and then transfer it to the prosecutor’s office. Future accessibility is important because digital imagery collected in capital cases must be retained until the end of the republic.

With this objective achieved, PDs and all members involved in an investigation, including attorneys, jurors, judges and investigators are able to open and save and share important audio and video files.

A third critical objective which was listed as needed in recording equipment was reliability. This is absolutely true today for PDs looking to adopt the right technology. What was it that Illinois PDs were looking for? The department needed to make sure that a recording would not be lost due to technical failure, another feature which iRecord’s software and equipment has a built-in system to manage.

What outcomes of following these same three practices can PDs across the nation expect from adopting similar technology?

  • Ease of use for the end user and technical staff
  • Accessibility of files for any team member to view crime scene videos
  • Tools that allow interviewers to confront suspects or their associates with inconsistencies in statements
  • Cost-effective exchange of information with the prosecutor’s office among others
  • And so much more!

Why Not Partner with iRecord?

We’d love to share with you the capabilities of these technology and digital recording tools. Perhaps you need an evaluation of your current system or are looking for an upgrade? We can help you with that too.

Contact us today to get the conversation going!

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