Body Worn Video Steering Group

Grappling With Gigabytes

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As body cameras are integrated into police forces around the world court systems are starting to buckle under the weight of hours upon hours of video, however learning to deal with this new challenge is temporary and staff are “ready to deal with whatever comes our way.”

police body camera video evidence storage

The Albany Democrat-Herald reports that body camera footage is mounting up, and Linn County Court is sturuggling to keep up with the data load.

Attorney Doug Marteeny says his office had only 45 gigabytes of media downloads in 2011, according to office data.

By 2014, that figure grew to 601 gigabytes of downloaded evidence, and for the first three months of 2015, it’s already at 351 gigabytes, most of which is body camera footage.

The video evidence must be watched, approved by party attorneys, redacted for court and edited before juries see it.

Media downloads for Linn County D.A.’s Office

(In gigabytes)

2011 – 45

2012 – 120

2013 – 400

2014 – 601

2015 – 351*

*first quarter only

The biggest fear surrounding these teething problems is an increased cost of justice, and by watching long videos during trials the taxpayer may have to foot the bill when other attorneys (who charge by the hour) present footage as evidence. Additionally, during deliberation jury members can review evidence – possibly adding further time to return a final verdict.

On the other hand many people and institutions are developing their data management skills as body cameras become synonymous with radios and truncheons, working towards a better understanding and working process.

IBM 350 Hard drive

The first hard disk drive, like so many innovations in computing, came from IBM. It was called the IBM Model 350 Disk File and was a huge device. It had 50 24-inch disks contained inside a cabinet that was as large as a cupboard and anything but lightweight. This hulk of a storage unit could store a whopping 5 MB of data.


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