From Video Analysis to Examination

Finding the Perfect Blend of Technicality and Specialized Knowledge For Your Agency

~ Shifting the focus from "what are you looking at?" to "what are you looking for?" ~

The Power of Video Review/Examination in Today's Digital Age

Video review has become an indispensable tool in law enforcement, enabling professionals to analyze, dissect, and evaluate visual content with precision and depth. In the age of the body worn camera, where video content dominates the evidentiary space, the ability to conduct effective video reviews is crucial for departments, officers, potential suspects, and communities. Whether it's assessing the nature of the incident, evaluating performance in citizen contacts, or analyzing third party footage, video review provides a wealth of opportunities for uncovering objective facts, subjective truths, and, ultimately, provides data to keep those who are making decisions informed.

Understanding the Difference Between Video Analysis and Video Review

Before delving deeper into the task of video review, it's important to distinguish it from video analysis. While video analysis focuses on the technical aspects and features of a video, video review goes beyond the surface-level examination. It involves a comprehensive evaluation of the content, context, and purpose of the video. In other words, it shifts the focus from "what are you looking at" to "what are you looking for." Video analysis may involve measuring frame rates, resolution, or audio quality. Video review aims to extract actionable information and meaningful insights into a specific area of expertise, which falls into a different lane than the video analysis.

The Importance of Specialized Knowledge in Video Review

Video review requires more than just technical know-how; it demands specialized knowledge and expertise in the specific domain being analyzed. For instance, a video review of a soccer match would require a deep understanding of the game, its rules, and strategies. Similarly, a video review of a critical incident would necessitate a background in law enforcement, i.e., use of force, etc. It is this specialized knowledge that enables reviewers to identify patterns, anomalies, and critical details that may elude the untrained eye. Without the necessary expertise, video review runs the risk of being superficial or lacking depth, and becoming the catalyst for a "knee jerk reaction" to the video evidence.

Finding the Perfect Blend of Technicality and Expertise

The task of video review lies in finding the perfect balance between technicality and specialized knowledge. While technical skills are essential for navigating the tools and software used in video review, it is the expertise in the subject matter that allows for meaningful interpretation and analysis. Striking this balance ensures that the insights derived from video review are accurate, reliable, and actionable. It is the fusion of technicality and expertise that elevates video review from a mere observation to a valuable tool for decision-making and problem-solving. As a chief, sheriff, or member of upper management, make sure your team is considering these factors; your decisions rely on the information coming from your internal experts.

From Analysis to Review and Examination: Unlocking the Full Potential

In today's social media based world, where staying engaged with the narrative is the goal. An in-depth video review and examination offers a way to efficiently identify and extract information from voluminous visual and audible data. While advanced tools and software can automate certain aspects of video analysis, the human factor and expertise are irreplaceable. when it comes to identifying context and an understanding of the behavior in the video, an expert in the field is a must. Understanding technical features regarding video alone cannot capture the nuances, context, and decision-making complexities that should be the focus of the review. It is the expertise of the reviewer that allows for the identification of patterns, the understanding of the bigger picture based on myriad data in the video (coupled with other investigative data), and the ability to draw insightful conclusions. By embracing expertise outside of video analysis in the video review, experts in the field of force review and analysis, as well as investigators, can unlock the full potential of visual and audio data and gain a foundational position.

Techniques for Effective Video Review

To conduct effective video reviews, it is essential to follow certain techniques that maximize the accuracy and efficiency of the process.Initially, establishing clear objectives and defining the scope of the review is crucial. In other words, "what are you looking for?" This ensures that the review remains focused and targeted, leading to more meaningful discoveries and insights. Next, it is essential to adopt a systematic approach, learn to navigate the data effectively and stay organized and focused during the review process. Finally, taking detailed and organized notes, either within the forensic platform, or by hand, during the reviewing process ensures that critical information is identified and captured accurately, so it can be easily referred to later.

Tools and Software Matter

The advancement of technology has brought forth a plethora of tools and software specifically designed for video review and analysis. These tools aid in streamlining the review process, enhancing productivity, and extracting valuable insights. Some popular video review and analysis software includeA-DAPT, AXON Investigate, Amped 5, Omnivore and others. Other secondary programs include, Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, as well as other production software. These tools offer a range of capabilities such as frame-by-frame analysis, annotation capabilities, and the ability to synchronize multiple video sources. By utilizing these tools, experts and investigators can optimize their video review workflows and harness the full potential of visual and audio data.

The Role of Video Review in Various Industries

Video review plays a significant role in the analysis of police actions and critical incidents. In law enforcement, video review enables trainers, decision-makers and those responsible for the analysis, to analyze performance, identify strengths and weaknesses, and devise strategies for improvement. I refer to this as identifying "RCA," Replicate, Change, and/or Avoid. In the law enforcement field, video review assists in tactical training, procedural analysis, and applying the sciences to every aspect of the profession. What behavior should be replicated, changed, or avoided. Law enforcement agencies also rely on video review to investigate crimes, enhance surveillance, and gather evidence. The versatility and broad applications of video review within law enforcement make it an indispensable tool across all law enforcement disciplines.

Case studies: Successful Examples of Video Review

To illustrate the practical applications and impact of video review, let's examine a few case studies. In two separate cases in the past seven months, video review regarding the analysis of a police action or a critical incident has strongly impacted the direction of the cases. The in-depth analysis and review has proven pivotal in the successful adjudication, internally and externally, leading to improved departmental morale and community relationships. These case studies, a part of the Video Review and Examination Course from CIR, demonstrate the transformative power of video review in the investigation, review and analysis of these sometimes-controversial incidents.

Conclusion: Embracing the Need for Video Review

In conclusion, video review is a powerful tool that enables experts, investigators, and analysts to extract meaningful insights from visual and audio content. By understanding the difference between video analysis and video review, recognizing the importance of specialized knowledge, and finding the right balance between technicality and expertise, experts, investigators, and analysts can unlock the true potential of forensic video review and examination. Through the application of effective techniques, utilization of advanced tools and software, and recognition of its role in law enforcement, video review becomes an indispensable asset for decision-making, problem-solving, and performance improvement. Embracing the need for video review is the key to unlocking the hidden value within visual and audio data and keeping up in today's challenged law enforcement climate.

Call to Action: Discover the power of video review and elevate your decision-making process. Join us for our Video Review and Examination Course –

CIR-Use of Force: Video Review and Examination!

CIR-Enhanced Force Investigations; & The (Cognitive) Interview Process

Authored by Sgt. Jamie Borden (Ret.) -

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Tuesday, 21 May 2024

The CIR Team has logged thousands of hours of continued and focused education in the field of Human Behavioral Sciences as it relates to law enforcement and has also logged thousands of hours of documented instruction time with multiple law enforcement entities as instructors, lecturers and authors.