Member Discussion

What Surveillance Equipment Should I Use For An Interrogation Room?

Looking for a solution for equipment to sell for use to record, store and use as evidence in an interview interrogation room.

The system they are using is DVR based, it is hard for them to use and downlod to use in court.

In the handful of these applications I worked with, the equipment was always tied in to the bigger (building-wide) surveillance system. Everything was connected to the central VMS in some way.

You're essentially looking for a kit only used to record interrogations? Meaning you don't care if it stands alone from other recording systems?

I work for IPVideo Corporation, and while we’ve traditionally developed products for the surveillance and security market, we recently have realized the need for this sort of solution – and the failure of current IP Video cameras and recording software to accommodate it. Therefore, we have developed a tailor-made Interrogation Room Recorder called AVfusion, which perfectly synchronizes audio and video using high-definition covert and non-overt IP cameras on a purpose-built NVR server, with the ability to handle simultaneous recordings for as many interrogation rooms as necessary. We actually stumbled on this solution a little over a year ago developing an AV product for a specific customer, but after a chance meeting with a police department that we work with, we saw an opportunity to develop it further. We did quite a bit of research on what police departments were looking for in an interrogation recorder, modified our solution to try and meet these specific needs and in turn, created AVfusion.

Recording Solutions for Interrogation Rooms are unique in that they address some specific challenges contrary to other typical recording solutions. The common setup for interrogations usually require two cameras; one capturing the entire view of the room and the other positioned to capture a close up of the face and upper body of the person being interrogated or interviewed. However, solutions incorporating DVRs are limited in that the usually work with analog cameras in “standard definition”, whereas IP cameras can record in true high definition. The challenge is that the audio and video streams from an IP camera don’t synchronize properly using a typical DVR and the playback becomes distorted, kind of like watching back the dialogue in a badly dubbed 1970’s martial arts movie. In addition, bookmarking features help interrogators cut down on the time spent going through video playback, by going directly to important points of interest during the interrogation. Interrogation recording solutions also have to allow for easy search and retrieval of archived video and the ability to easily export video files in DVD, CD or electronic file format (MP4). In conclusion, interrogation room recorders need to be a dedicated, purpose-built solution that is simple to use and yet robust enough to make an interrogator’s job a whole lot easier.

With a simple windows interface, recordings within AVfusion are initiated with the push of a button either from within the client, or by pressing a mounted button on the outside of the interrogation room. We also give interrogators a key-fob that allows them to covertly insert bookmarks on the fly while conducting an interrogation. We did this because quite a few detectives complained about how much time was spent on going through long interrogation videos, trying to find specific points of interest during the interrogation. AVfusion’s software also allows for digital zoom-in capability on video playback, allowing interrogators to have a better handle on visual cues given by the person being interrogated (i.e. nervous sweating, facial & body language, subtle mannerisms, etc). A lot of the detectives that we consulted with loved this because not only was AVfusion a recording solution, but also a helpful tool in the preparation of solid evidence in building their cases. Lastly, we designed AVfusion with a robust search engine that allows for easy location of archived videos using case numbers, dates, names of the interrogators and people being interrogated, keywords using the interrogator’s inputed notes, and much more. At the end of the day, Avfusion was designed to make an interrogator’s jobs easier with a dependable tailor-made IP solution. We’d love to hear your feedback.

As to Brians question; I understand with VMS systems there is aproblem with Audio/Video sync.

When using a DVR a five hour interrogation is a nightmare to record, find targeted bits of information, downloading for court, keeping recording seperated, keeping confidenial and in general use.

I would rather use a seprerate recording device for this, one that has easy to use, that has a information mark, doesn't use many GB of memory and can be downloaded to a single disk for inexpensive record, keeping since once it is pulled for evidence, I'm being told they must store for a difinitive time.

I now have heard of two stand alone systems, one of which is deployed at several Police Departments within 50 miles of our location. I was surprised it came with a $10,000 cost.

I have left Steve a voice mail to answer the concerns above.

All you need is a bright light, and a water cooler shaped like a polar bear.

Sorry, I really have noting constructive to add.....