The Reality of Body Cameras
Leaving aside the eavesdropping laws that don't yet cover body cameras, the complete lack of privacy if you are trying to develop leads from a neighborhood informant, and the HIPAA laws that come into play if you're at a hospital gathering info, has anyone actually looked at the cost? Not the cost of the units, but the cost of data storage?
- Here’s a calculation based on a 50-officer agency: say 60% of your cops work on a typical day, and each produces an average of four hours of video. If the video is encoded at 640x480 VGA (the format stored by the TASER AXON system, one of the more popular models) it’s going to take up 15-20 MB of space per minute (TASER may compress the video better than that— this is just an estimation). That’s just over 1 GB per hour, times four hours, times 30 cops, times three shifts: 360 GB per day, more than a terabyte every three days, ten terabytes per month.
How long do you want to keep that video on file before you delete it? If you say “forever,” get ready to write an increasingly large check each month. If you can live with, say, three months, that’s about 30 terabytes worth of storage, plus whatever you keep around for open cases.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is one of the largest cloud storage services in the world. Netflix uses them for their trove of streaming video. There are a lot of variables, but the figure I got for keeping this volume of video online with AWS, creating a new volume at the end of each sift, is $6260.79. Apply whatever multiples you might need for more cops or a longer retention interval.
Let's just go with about 5,000 beat coppers (yeah, we know it's less, but it's a multiple of 50...cut us some slack). That's a monthly storage bill closing on $1 million for the first year alone (rounding up for Chicago's corrupt considering practices). Not really an amount that Rahm is going to part with easily...or any future mayors.
Labels: info for the police