Class To Train Cops In Video Evidence
The prevalence of surveillance cameras in public areas has prompted law enforcement agencies to launch training initiatives focused on using videotapes in the fight against crime.
Jan Garvin, vice president for training with the Law Enforcement & Emergency Services Association, is hosting a video training seminar at the University of Indianapolis. Garvin notes that roughly 75 law enforcement officials from different countries are expected to come to the seminar, which is unlike any other held in the world. The class is typically held at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Va.
The importance of video footage is illustrated by surveillance cameras taping criminals, such as the Washington, D.C., snipers and 9/11 terrorist Mohamed Atta.
The course is instructed by Grant Fredericks of Avid Technology’s Forensic Video Solutions, who says that video is regularly used as evidence in courtrooms, and warns that “Unless [staff] receive the proper training, they are going to make the wrong assumption about the video.”
The course covers the processing of analog and digital technology, picture enhancement, image comparison, and the preparation of evidence for courtroom presentation. Training focuses on such details as what angle and from what distance the footage was shot, how fast subjects are moving, and the effects of light on the images.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from the Indianapolis Star (10/25/04) P. 1B; Tuohy, John.