Web giants looked to for Queensland police crime footage storage solution
POLICE are looking to internet giants Microsoft and Amazon to solve a dilemma over how to store huge amounts of video footage captured by officers on the job.
A three-month trial was launched by police this month to establish just how costly a solution to the big data problem is likely to be before going out to the market.
It comes as an increasing number of frontline police opt to buy their own personal body-worn cameras to cover themselves against vexatious complaints while on duty.
The trend has created a headache for the police service, which has been criticised for a policy forcing officers to upload footage to police computers unable to cope with the huge file sizes.
Chief Superintendent Dave Johnson said officers needed to be able to transfer the footage quickly.
“We’ve looked at options around the big players, the Microsofts and the Amazons, just to try to estimate what the storage cost is,” Chief Supt Johnson said.
“One of our primary objectives in Queensland is to keep frontline officers in the field so we are very mindful that any solution we come up with can’t take officers away for a long period of time at the end of shifts to move the video footage from their device into the cloud storage,” he said.
Chief Supt Johnson said a $74,000 pilot program was being trialled by a small group of police on the Gold Coast to determine just how much data a broader body-worn video program would involve.
An intelligence officer, helicopter officers and a break-and-enter taskforce are taking part in the trial.
The trial is using a program by West End-based firm Cutting Edge backed by Amazon’s Cloud-based archive storage servers.
Police say the trial was planned for last year’s G20 but was delayed.
Expanding its existing in-house data storage used by forensic officers is an option, but Chief Supt Johnson said a Cloud-based solution “seemed to be the way to go”.
Any rollout of body-worn video would rely on funding approval from the Palaszczuk Government, which made a pre-election pledge to spend $5 million on police cameras.
An internal police department report recommended – as early as 2011 – body-worn cameras be used.