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article / December 18, 2023

How to efficiently redact audio from digital evidence

Search auto-generated transcripts and redact words and phrases in just a few clicks with Axon Redaction Assistant’s new Audio Redact via Transcript Feature

A demo of the new Axon Redaction Assistant Audio Redact via Transcript Feature showcases the ability to search for the word 'that' and redact it multiple times from an audio recording.
Axon Redaction Assistant is a robust evidence management tool enabling law enforcement agencies to redact faces, license plates and other personally identifiable details from video recordings. 

Now, audio redaction is part of the solution, thanks to the new Audio Redact via Transcript Feature. 

Tommy Nguyen, Product Manager for Axon Evidence, shares how this new audio redaction software update – currently available for all Axon Redaction Assistant subscribers – helps reduce redaction workloads while improving accuracy.

Axon Redaction Assistant

Designed around the most common elements agencies interact with on a daily basis, Axon Redaction Assistant empowers officers and administrators with automated tools that make quick work of evidence redaction tasks. Axon Redaction Assistant is fully integrated with Axon’s range of body-worn cameras and is compatible with other third-party video and audio files, including media captured on mobile devices, computers and security cameras. 

Key Features

  • Face redaction automatically detects and blurs up to 15 faces simultaneously in a video.

  • License plate redaction uses AI-powered tracking to identify and blur all license plates within video footage.

  • Mobile data terminal (MDT) redaction keeps details such as interactions inside patrol cars and an officer’s use of their personal mobile phone private. 

  • Audio Redact via Transcript speeds up audio redaction times by clicking words or phrases found within the transcript.

  • Seamlessly integrated into Axon Evidence’s Redaction Studio to enhance ease of use.

  • Continuously improved with new features and product enhancements that make redaction easier and more accurate.

Audio redaction is crucial – yet time-consuming

Removing personally identifiable information from evidence is a crucial aspect of court proceedings, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests and other law enforcement tasks. Effective redaction protects the privacy of individuals and keeps sensitive information secure. 

However, doing so manually is often a laborious, time-consuming process.

“Before Axon Redaction Assistant’s Audio Redact via Transcript feature, officers would have to go through video or audio evidence frame by frame, listening carefully to catch any information that can reveal a person's identity,” Nguyen explains. “Details like the individual’s name, address, date of birth, social security number and any other personal information had to be redacted manually.”

This process can add several hours to the redaction workflow. For agencies where resources, staffing and time are in short supply – especially in smaller agencies –  accurate audio redaction can pose a significant roadblock to rapid evidence processing times.

Audio redaction software that reduces redaction times by 75%

The Audio Redact via Transcript feature dramatically reduces the time necessary to redact sensitive data.

“Statistically speaking about our customers, one hour of footage usually needs two hours for visual redaction and another hour for audio redactions,” Nguyen says. “With Audio Redact via Transcript Feature, audio redactions have been reduced to 15 minutes. We’ve cut the time down by 75%.”

With Axon Redaction Assistant’s Audio Redact via Transcript Feature, officers free up precious time out of their schedule, allowing them to spend more time on the job they love.

How the Audio Redact via Transcript Feature Works

The Axon Evidence team collected feedback from agencies and officers and realized it could resolve a pain point found in many audio redaction services.

“Audio redaction is usually where agencies feel neglected,” Nguyen said. “Our customers have been requesting the ability to use transcripts within Axon Redaction Studio, so we listened to the feedback and built the Audio Redact via Transcript Feature to accommodate their needs.”

With this new tool, Axon Redaction Studio automatically transcribes any audio found within uploaded evidence, whether imported directly from Axon cameras or third-party devices. Officers and administrators can then look at the transcript and quickly scan the text for any areas that contain sensitive information. Users can instantly redact a single word from recorded audio with a simple right-click on the word in the transcript. Users can also highlight phrases or sentences and redact entire sections of audio or even search for specific words and phrases to redact audio sequences in bulk.

Exporting finished redactions is just as easy. Simply click the extract button and choose whether you want to extract your work as a video or audio file. Or, share your finished work with any authorized Axon Evidence users. Plus, the original file remains intact and unaltered within Axon Evidence, no matter how many audio redactions you make.

Try Axon Redaction Assistant’s Audio Redact via Transcript Feature Today

If you are an existing user of Axon Redaction Assistant, we have great news! The new Audio Redact via Transcript is available for use right now. Join other law enforcement agencies and attorneys who are already leveraging Audio Redact via Transcript to save time and accelerate justice. 

If you want to learn more about this powerful auto-transcription feature – or upgrade an existing account to an unlimited transcription minutes plan – get in touch today.