April 1, 2024 by Ryan Seick

Collecting digital evidence in the field with CommandCentral Responder

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Industries: 9-1-1 & Law Enforcement

Topics: Command Center Software Public Safety Applications Records and Evidence SaaS

Many agencies already have a substantial investment in in-car video systems and body cameras to collect evidence on scene. While these pieces of equipment are indispensable, there are still many moments on patrol – capturing an image of an accident scene or interviewing a witness – where using a mobile phone may be the most convenient way to capture additional evidence. For these situations, having the right set of tools and equipping field officers with a simple method of collecting digital evidence while still at the scene is critical. By simplifying field-based evidence collection, officers can focus on their primary objective – protecting and serving the community. 

Responder and Evidence IntegrationTo minimize the amount of equipment the officer has to carry, a mobile app that transforms an officer’s personal or agency-issued mobile device into a digital evidence-capturing tool is an optimal solution. It helps field officers quickly and securely collect photos, videos, audio files and notes as evidence while still on scene. All evidentiary data collected should be isolated from personal data, making it inaccessible for tampering or viewing by other apps. 

The CommandCentral Responder app, available for iOS and Android devices, serves this critical purpose. It is being offered for FREE to agencies with an active CommandCentral Evidence subscription, enabling the immediate benefits of purpose-built technology at an officer’s fingertips at the point of need. 

Police work, not paperwork 

Field officers often face a significant paperwork burden when documenting evidence and creating a report. Some agencies still rely on handwritten notes, with officers either typing up narratives in their vehicles or returning to the station to complete the task.

It’s also challenging to manage witness or victim statements, where officers using pen and paper must manually transcribe the information into their records management system (RMS). For agencies that record interviews on standalone devices or officer mobile phones, the content may be captured faster and more accurately than handwritten notes, but it still requires manual entry into the RMS. 

Additionally, manually linking evidence to incident records and adding notes and tags on a desktop computer further diverts an officer’s attention and requires them to return to the station to finalize the paperwork. This is not only inefficient but also consumes valuable time when the officer could be out in the community or responding to other incidents. 

With CommandCentral Responder, officers can quickly and securely capture photos, videos, notes, and audio recordings in real time, ensuring a comprehensive documentation process. All of this evidence is then uploaded securely to CommandCentral Evidence, where media files from a variety of sources can be managed, redacted, transcribed, and shared—all in one place. 

Once an officer links the incident record, all collected evidence is uploaded securely to the corresponding incident record, streamlining data management and retrieval. Officers can directly add agency-defined tags to the evidence for additional context, ensuring accurate documentation and facilitating easier search and analysis.

Officers using CommandCentral Responder can dictate their narratives and capture witness and victim statements immediately on scene. They simply speak their observations into the app, which automatically transcribes the recordings and uploads the audio file and the transcription to the incident record. 

This streamlined process for reporting eliminates the risk of forgetting important details or the need for manual typing or time-consuming trips back to the station. The risk of mistakes is minimized, and it saves time for the officer, victims and witnesses. 

Make the most of in-field tagging

The physical evidence room is notorious for being difficult to manage, time- and space-consuming, and prone to error. The transition to digital evidence simplifies and streamlines the process of gathering and storing evidence, but just like physical evidence, the sheer amount of material can be overwhelming.

Searching for specific evidence or sorting through large volumes of data can be time consuming and inefficient without a structured tagging system. This lack of organization can impede investigations and hinder the timely retrieval of critical information.

With CommandCentral Responder, officers can utilize multiple agency-defined tags to categorize their captured evidence according to various criteria such as role, device type, narrative, location, offense, or any other tag enabled by their agency. This structured tagging system allows officers, detectives or investigators to search for and sort through evidence easily, significantly reducing the time and effort required to locate specific information. 

Secured evidence management

The process of manually transferring and organizing media files from various sources can be time-consuming and has the risk of error or loss should a device be damaged or stolen. Additionally, limited device storage capacity can pose constraints, leading to the risk of necessary evidence being lost or overwritten.

CommandCentral Responder automatically uploads all captured media to CommandCentral Evidence. This centralized platform allows officers to efficiently manage, redact, transcribe, and share media files from various sources in one convenient location. 

CommandCentral Responder also seamlessly integrates with incident records, displaying them immediately to users and enabling them to select and associate any new evidence with the corresponding record. 

With an efficient evidence management process, CommandCentral Responder helps ensure that no crucial information is overlooked or misplaced. Furthermore, the automatic removal of media from an officer’s device after a specified retention period defined by their agency helps free up valuable storage space and maintain device performance. 

Part of a robust digital evidence management ecosystem

CommandCentral Responder is one of the many digital evidence management tools included with CommandCentral Evidence. While CommandCentral Responder is a free application available for download, the app does require a CommandCentral Evidence user subscription.

Extend your CommandCentral Evidence subscription by downloading CommandCentral Responder from the Google Play or Apple App Store today.

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