The 2023 Digital Evidence Trends Report revealed several important statistics around video evidence and training.
Video is the most prolific source of evidence available to police today – it is involved in 85% of all cases and it’s frequently featured in the news. 97% of command staff believe that video is a critical source of evidence during investigations. Officers must also frequently testify about video in court, with 72% of officers, investigators and forensic video specialists stating they have testified in court about video evidence.
Despite being a vital source of evidence, very little training exists on how to review video evidence effectively and efficiently. The Trends report found that 52% of Major Crimes Investigators have had less than 20 hours of training in video evidence. If you’re an investigator who interacts with video, it’s no longer a question of if you will testify, but when.
Grant Fredericks, a certified Forensic Video Analyst and lecturer at the FBI National Academy, explained the importance of video training for police officers:
“While I was in the Police Academy, they taught us how to shoot a gun, use handcuffs, apply minimal force, testify in court, and write a police report, among other basic policing functions. Today it’s still pretty much the same in most police academies throughout North America, but there is no video literacy training. And yet, police officers will use video more than they use their gun, more than they use force or testify and they will likely even use video more than they use handcuffs. Video is more common to police work today than any of the other functions that are currently taught.”
The good news is, video evidence training options are available and accessible from Axon. This article will provide an overview of the range of video training courses offered by the Axon Investigate team. Investing in these training courses can help ensure public safety professionals — from detectives, investigators, forensic video specialists, patrol officers, field officers, attorneys and command staff — can testify with accuracy and confidence when needed.
Why Training is Important in Regards to Video Evidence:
People tend to think of video as the 'silent witness' and that it 'speaks for itself.' However, certified Forensic Video Analyst Grant Fredericks argues that this concept is one of “the most egregious arguments that I have heard in court today, because video does not speak for itself.” Digital video evidence can be rendered unreliable due to various factors such as incorrect colors, distorted shapes, and dropped frames.
Inaccurate video can significantly impact the perception and interpretation of events, as demonstrated by a recent Use of Force Case in Ottawa where altered video footage increased the appearance of force. It only takes one link in the chain to alter video evidence, highlighting the importance of training for anyone who views video evidence.
Training helps ensure that video evidence is recovered correctly, investigators have the necessary tools and knowledge to conduct investigations safely, and opinions about video evidence are defined by individuals with training. Without proper training, investigators may unintentionally create inaccurate video evidence, leading to misinterpretations and challenges in court.
How our Live, Online Training Experience Works
You’re going to love our innovative, live, online training courses that take a hands-on approach to teaching best practice for handling video evidence.
Participants will learn from a certified instructor and receive hands-on experience working with real video evidence from actual cases thanks to our virtual machine system we have built specifically for these classes. You do not need a software license with Axon Investigate to participate in this course or learn from it.
Here are a few benefits of this training experience:
1) Work with real case footage: This is not your typical online training experience. We have built a unique platform that provides you access to a cloud-hosted Axon Investigate machine and facilitates a fully hands-on experience with real video evidence from homicide and robbery cases.
2) Live Interactions with a Certified Trainer: We intentionally keep our training courses small so that you have the opportunity to ask questions and interact with our experienced training experts while they guide you through the hands-on exercises. Our trainers are professionals in video evidence who have both testified and taught at a national level.
3) Flexible Scheduling: We understand that an investigator's schedule might be quite demanding, which is why we provide flexible scheduling. Students can select the course term which works best for them from a list of available, scheduled training dates. Select the dates that work best for you by purchasing a voucher today.
4) No Travel Required: Because our courses are online, you can save time and your travel budget. Courses can be taken from home, work, or wherever you have access to the internet and a computer.
5) Earn your Certification: Participants who complete these courses will receive Axon Investigate certifications. And of course, Participants will be better equipped to interpret video evidence accurately.
Now that you know the benefits and reasons behind our Video Evidence training courses, let’s look at the different course options.
Video Examinations for Investigators Course Info
This Video Examinations course exposes investigators to the latest techniques to accurately examine digital multimedia evidence for criminal investigations. The course includes two, 4-hour modules. Each module focuses on both:
The first module combines essential skills for investigators, detectives, and anyone handling video evidence. Participants will expedite video casework, grasp key terminology, navigate legal considerations, and safely utilize this crucial evidence. Each lesson is accompanied by hands-on experience using actual case files to showcase best practices.
The second module builds upon the first, equipping investigators with advanced techniques to swiftly access proprietary digital video evidence without relying on the original DVR. They will learn to identify and avoid common mistakes while receiving foundational training to enhance their efficiency significantly.
Learn more about Video Examinations for Investigators and register for an upcoming class >
Operator Course Information
The Axon Investigate Operator Certification is a video investigation training course that prepares Participants with the fundamental knowledge and skills that are essential for performing accurate video investigations. The certification track includes two, 4-hour courses including Intro to Axon Investigate and Case Management.
These modules provide comprehensive training on utilizing the Axon Investigate software for video-centric investigations. Participants will become proficient in navigating the user interface, leveraging key features, and conducting a thorough investigation using Axon Investigate.
The first module focuses on mastering the workflow, from initial playback to accurate review and court-ready output creation. The second module builds upon this foundation by exploring advanced concepts such as frame rates, codecs, containers, and the risks associated with proprietary players. Participants will also develop skills to manage video assets and derivatives in complex cases using Axon Investigate.
Learn more about The Operator Certification Course and register for an upcoming class >
Examiner Course Information
The Examiner Training Course Includes two, 4 hour modules (8 hours total). Operator Certification should be completed before beginning Examiner as this course builds on the core knowledge of the Operator certification by introducing Examiner-level workflows and advanced processes in Axon Investigate.
These modules offers Participants a comprehensive understanding of important video terms and their significance in video investigations. The course also provides hands-on experience in developing and processing more complex workflows. Furthermore, it offers insights into the methods of creating engaging and informative exhibits for investigative purposes and courtroom use.
Participants will deepen their understanding of frame rates and their impact on determining speed and use of force, as well as explore the potential challenges and advantages of video enhancements. Moreover, they will enhance their skills in creating and exporting easily readable PDF reports for sharing
Learn more about The Examiner Certification Course and register for an upcoming class
Metrologist Course Information
These modules are designed to enhance participants' understanding of 3D rendering, reconstruction, and accurate timing calculation from videos.
By learning to utilize the AXON Investigate Camera Match Overlay Tool and the AXON Investigate Frame Rate (VFR) Lightboard, participants will develop the necessary skills to overlay video evidence onto point cloud data, ensuring precise measurements and calculations within a documented margin of error.
Moreover, participants will gain proficiency in utilizing recorded video while considering challenges like variable refresh rates, compression, rolling shutter, and more, which can complicate these calculations. Additionally, participants will acquire the ability to measure object locations through Reverse Projection and 3D laser scan geometry.
Furthermore, they will grasp the fundamental components of video files and how different codecs interpret metadata, which can introduce inaccuracies in older speed calculation methods, thanks to the introduction of HEX.
Learn more about The Metrologist Certification Course and register for an upcoming class
Register for Upcoming Training Today
Ready to testify about video with confidence? Want to run video-centric investigations with greater efficiency and accuracy? Then register for one of the Axon Investigate training courses today. You can view all training options here or you can contact us at email@example.com to register for an upcoming course.