Twenty years ago, evidence was something that filled filing cabinets, required keys & credentials, & was available to be seen by one person at a time. An audio recorder used miniature cassette tapes, & video recording was done by news cameras. An “app” was nothing but a typo.
Times have changed.
Today, evidence is increasingly in a digital format, with smartphones used by civilians & law enforcement agencies alike to capture, organize & share digital evidence. TASER’s EVIDENCE.com is a pioneer in digital evidence management, putting digital evidence gathering in officers’ pockets through its mobile law enforcement app, EVIDENCE Mobile. EVIDENCE Mobile is a comprehensive crime scene app & digital evidence management system: part audio recorder, part image & video recorder & full-time officer sidekick.
EVIDENCE Mobile was born out of the need for officers to capture evidence in the field using their smartphone. Most do so today even when their agency has policies against it. The result is officers forgetting to transfer the files to the department & forgetting to delete them afterwards, putting them & the department at risk. EVIDENCE Mobile puts secure evidence capturing capabilities in your pocket & manages the chain of custody for you. With one app on one device, officers can collect photos, video & audio, & conveniently upload evidence from the field to EVIDENCE.com. The files are automatically deleted once they have been securely transferred.
Because of EVIDENCE Mobile, officers around the country are experiencing a radical shift in digital evidence gathering. Coronado Police Department in California began using EVIDENCE.com with their adoption of AXON products in 2009, becoming one of the first agencies to use the cutting-edge digital evidence technology. In 2012, the agency adopted EVIDENCE Mobile, equipping every department mobile phone with the police mobile app. Today, the majority of the police force has EVIDENCE Mobile on their personal & their department-provide mobile phone.
Coronado Police Sergeant Matthew Mitchell says that EVIDENCE Mobile “is definitely an application that has increased productivity in the field.” The app has brought simplicity to tasks as routine as issuing parking & traffic citations. Mitchell says, “It’s replaced a bulky SLR-type camera. It’s streamlining our operations. The parking control officer can snap some photos, add some metadata, & not worry about burning evidence to CD’s. I use it all the time myself. It’s really made things simpler for me.”
EVIDENCE Mobile is changing the way law enforcement agencies record & manage digital evidence in the field. It’s making evidence collection easier, digital evidence management more streamlined, & evidence sharing as easy as sending a text — & it all fits in your pocket.
We’ve all read the headlines: “30 million credit card numbers stolen,” “Major Security Breach Puts Millions at Risk,” “Scope of Identity Theft Wider than Originally Thought.” It seems that not a week passes without a company announcing that customer data has been compromised.
At EVIDENCE.com, we read the same headlines as you do. We also work tirelessly to safeguard your evidence from malicious attacks. In fact, we spend more than $1,000,000 per year on security alone. We even hire security experts to try to break into our systems to ensure our protections are strong. What does all of this mean? When you use EVIDENCE.com for management of your digital evidence, you are storing your evidence in a system that is designed for the unique needs of law enforcement & evidence protection.
EVIDENCE.com uses best-in-class security measures that meets & often exceeds the CJIS security standards necessary to store law enforcement data. Law enforcement cloud computing with EVIDENCE.com’s services makes image management & digital evidence management secure against the most common & advanced threats on the internet.
Additionally, EVIDENCE.com includes safety features tailored specifically to the strict standards required in public safety cloud technology. That means no SD cards or CDs that are easily lost, compromised, broken, purchased, &/or copied without permission. It also means:
At EVIDENCE.com, we adhere to the following Digital Evidence Management Cloud Provider Security Checklist, ensuring that all of our technology complies with stringent standards:
We believe in the security of our digital evidence management systems not because we think a security threat will happen to us, but because we understand the reality of security threats & are prepared. Security is a major priority at EVIDENCE.com, which is why we are proactively creating new safeguards to ensure the integrity of your evidence & the security of your data.
EVIDENCE.com is a business unit of TASER International, & we take seriously our mission to protect life & to protect truth through the security measures of EVIDENCE.com.
Open any technology magazine or watch CNN for more than ten minutes today & you’re likely to see a story about wearable technology. From Google Glass to Samsung’s smart watch to smart contact lenses, consumers & business analysts alike are abuzz with what the future could look like with the advance of body worn technology. What you may not know is that TASER was a pioneer in wearable technology years before it was even a term.
There once was a day when an officer’s point of view (POV) was recorded only in his memory, & protected only by his word. When we introduced TASER conducted electrical weapons (CEWs) in 1998, it was a game-changer for the law enforcement community, adding a less lethal option to officers’ utility belts. With the increase in use of TASER CEWs, we recognized a need for greater accountability for civilians & officers alike, & went to work creating the TASER CAM recorder, a battery pack with a built-in black & white video camera in 2006. The success was immediate & more than 60,000 TASER CAM & the newer full color TASER CAM HD recorders on the streets have provided an entirely new aspect to transparency as these accessories recorded incidents when a CEW was deployed. With this wearable camera, the “he said/she said” claims dropped rather quickly during TASER deployments.
The success of this product naturally led to the visionary development of a body worn camera for officers, to record video from the perspective of the officer but not just when a TASER CEW was deployed. While dash board cameras were popular, they missed 90% of the action & thus the cameras of the future had to be body worn – hence wearable.
The AXON flex & AXON body cameras were introduced in 2008 & 2013, respectively, equipping officers with simple yet powerful body worn video technology for all day patrol use. The AXON flex cameras were created based on feedback from thousands of law enforcement officers. This customer-driven police camera is one of the most flexible body worn police cameras on the market. It has multiple mounting options, empowering officers to wear the camera on eyewear, caps, collars, & more. The AXON body took the camera capabilities of the flex & put them in an even simpler wearable unit.
The best technology is that which appears simple & intuitive, but is robust in capabilities. When we designed the AXON body worn cameras, we wanted to make something so advanced that officers would not only be willing to wear them, but ask for them by name too. Our wearable technology now contains a laundry list of features designed with today’s law enforcement environment in mind. From low-light video capturing, full shift batteries, & industry-leading durability, to in-the-field video review & drop-and-go upload of video, AXON products have set the standard in on-officer video technology.
Today, both AXON body & AXON flex on-officer cameras are available to law enforcement agencies looking for camera solutions. Both cameras feature dock-and-go capabilities & automatic upload of videos to EVIDENCE.com, giving precious time back to officers. Police cameras now come in many forms, & agencies are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of body worn video. A Cambridge University study Case study showed the AXON flex camera dramatically reduced complaints by 88 percent & use of force by nearly 60 percent. Clearly body worn provides better behavior on both sides of the badge. The most valuable police cameras are body worn cameras, & we firmly believe that the best body worn cameras on the market carry the AXON name. TASER’s mission to protect life & protect truth drives us to continue to lead & innovate, delivering cutting-edge technology driven by the needs of law enforcement.
A $5 million 1715 “Lipinski” Stradivarius violin was stolen from Frank Almond, concert master for the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. The suspects used a TASER C2 Personal Protector to incapacitate Almond in order to steal the 300-year-old instrument a “literally and figuratively shocking crime,” exclaimed Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn in a press conference. The international media coverage was incredible given the value of this major art theft. The local news coverage was immediate hailing TASER as the local company that played a small but important role in solving this crime.
What made the violin so valuable is the rarity and excellence of the stringed instrument. The Stradivarius family produced about 650 of these instruments during the 17th and 18th century. Over the years many of the Stradivarius violins have been stolen and only a handful have ever been recovered, usually taking several years to track down the thieves. In this instance the Milwaukee PD and the FBI were able to work with TASER International and citizens of Milwaukee to track down the suspects and the violin in less than two weeks.
As the Milwaukee Police and the FBI began to conduct the investigation they reached out to us at TASER in order to identify possible suspects in the case. This was accomplished thanks to our Anti-Felon Identification tags (AFID). The AFID program enforces accountability for each use of a TASER device. This system releases dozens of confetti-sized markers upon discharge of a CEW cartridge. Each AFID contains a serial number that tracks back to the original purchaser of the cartridge. The large number of AFIDs and their small size makes it impractical to clean up. Therefore, law enforcement can pick up one AFID and contact TASER International for a complete trace on the serial number.
At the time of purchase, we verify the identity and background of the prospective buyer with the understanding that we will not release the information and it will be kept confidential unless a TASER device is used in the commission of a crime. This information proved invaluable during the investigation on the Stradivarius violin. “We worked very closely with TASER International who provided us invaluable information that the FBI was able to track down for us in Texas,” said Chief Flynn, “That information led us to an individual who had purchased this device.”
So how did it work? Well, you can actually watch these clips as they show in slow motion how the TASER deploys the AFIDs and the probes:
With the AFID information in hand, police traced the purchase back to Universal Knowledge Allah, a 36-year-old barber while a citizen tip led them to Salah Jones, a 41-year-old man convicted of previous art theft. These suspects led police to the home of an acquaintance, who had allowed the suspect to store a suitcase in his attic. With a search warrant police were able to find the suitcase in the attic with the contents being the Stradivarius.
“There are good days and there are bad days, today is a good day,” said Mayor Tom Barrett with an obvious sigh of relief.
While TASER technology was never created for criminal use, it’s good to see the TASER’s visionary foresight since 1994 allowed law enforcement to capture the suspects and get the violin back to its owners. Thank you Milwaukee Police and FBI!
UPDATE: We admit there is some very interesting comments regarding our Anti-Felon Identification system by Schneier on Security, a blog covering security and security technology, (and we appreciate the coverage BTW): Some of the posts are thought provoking while some comments are inaccurate such as the number of ID tags that deploy or using a plastic bag to catch the AFID confetti. We came up with AFID by the way well before our very first production unit of the AIR TASER model 34000 back in 1994. Let us know if you have any questions concerning accuracy.
The TASER Assurance Plan (TAP) is a program for our law enforcement customer integrating warranty coverage for their current TASER® conducted electrical weapons (CEWs) with a free upgrade handle every 5 years. TAP also provides the agency on-site spares so officers experience zero downtime. We offer this program for our TASER X2™, TASER X26P™ & TASER CAM HD™. Some agencies that have taken advantage of TAP are Lake Havasu PD, Lewisville PD, & Truckee PD to name a few.
After the 5th TAP payment, agencies are guaranteed a FREE new CEW handle.
Only the TASER Assurance Plan gives law enforcement the service they need today & the protection they want tomorrow. Not only does TAP secure today’s price, it also guarantees a superior level of personal support for CEWs & the agency for the next five years.
TAP allows our LE customers to: