DIMS Design and Capabilities

Oftentimes we are asked to describe the design factors and capabilities that have successfully propelled Linear Systems into hundreds of Evidence Securityagencies. Linear has put together a list that compiles the most important practices and features required to implement a robust, powerful, yet still easy to use system for managing Digital Evidence.

  • System must be easy to use eliminating user training while being extremely powerful for Administrative options in a production environment
  • Upgrades should not modify existing software user interfaces to eliminate the need for additional training
  • System must be able to ingest and manage 10s to 100s of millions of assets from industry standard and proprietary formats without performance degradation
  • System must support acquisition, processing, and distribution of 1000s of different manufacturer’s devices and file formats while maintaining original evidence (digital cameras, digital pocket recorders, 911 audio, BWC, in-car video, helicopter video with metadata, CCTV crime scene forensic video, spherical VR datasets with photogrammetry, interrogation room evidence, documents, spreadsheets, crime scene diagrams, PDFs, or other)
  • Support controlled distribution of assets to 1000s of users with 100s concurrent users at multiple sites or Agencies using existing network infrastructure
  • Manage and transport a very high volume of extremely large files without impacting an Agency’s existing operations and network data workflow
  • Information and evidence need to be able to be acquired from 100s of different locations and Specialized Units and Contract Cities and segmented in secure silos when required
  • Must have the capability to acquire information/evidence from the field and wirelessly transmit encrypted data stream to the station
  • Must have the capability to view assets/information/evidence from the field on Patrol MDCs, tablets, or smartphones
  • System must support Secure Silos to enable Specialized Units to maintain their own evidence and Administrators (IA, Narcotics, Intelligence, Multi-Agency Task Forces, etc.)
  • Requires fully redundant data locations with real-time replication to multiple sites and repositories
  • Solution needs to offer secure storage options for both incidents/evidence or data that currently has no evidentiary value (raw BWC video, in-car video, VMS video)
  • Storage options should include onsite local storage within the City/County/Agency’s infrastructure, cloud based offsite retention, cloud based co-location with an offsite mirror of local storage, or a hybrid combination of options with the ability to change midstream
  • Maintain 100% uptime and no loss of data (ever)

Uptime

  • Extensive access control based on permissions and classifications linked to A/D
  • Securely transport (acquisition, replication, and distribution) over existing network without impacting operations utilizing a QoS model that supports automatic throttling of data and background packetizing
  • Ultra-high security requirements requiring encrypted transport and impenetrable virus protection
  • Must maintain extensive and comprehensive log tracking, audit trail, and chain of custody
  • System must track all changes to user permissions and system configuration in a log
  • Direct support and a high level of automation for many output devices including printers, DVD authoring systems, and AFIS
  • System must have options for watermarking of photos and video for viewing, printing, and distribution, including to DVD, screen, or email (non-evidentiary)
  • System must have the ability to encrypt assets output to DVD or email
  • System must automatically generate working copies of information/evidence to reduce network traffic, permit viewing without specialized software while maintaining original evidence for comparative analysis and Discovery
  • Manage forensic enhancement history and support audit trail with automatic reimport to maintain chain of custody for evidence
  • Capability for bi-directional integration with CAD, RMS, LIMS, Property, or other databasesEvidence
  • Must support A/D with deep A/D integration across multiple disparate user groups (PD with DA)
  • Compatible with industry standard hardware, virtual O/S, file formats, and databases
  • Software, Server O/S, and storage must meet all industry standards and guidelines, past, present, and future, such as CJIS, SWGIT, SCAP, 28-CFR, eDiscovery, and others
  • System and vendor must be able to communicate with and support Police operations with sworn Administrators, civilian laboratory personnel, and IT Managers
  • Solution must be fully customizable and delivered customized specifically to the Department’s requirements through configuration and custom feature request
  • Complete solution must be capable of inception to “GoLive” within a short period of time (90-180 days)
  • The desired solution must be affordable, supportable, scalable, expandable and functional with a low initial cost of ownership and low recurring maintenance fees

One of the greatest challenges that Linear Systems has to overcome on a daily basis is the reluctance or unwillingness of Agency Administrators to enforce their Policy and Procedures or SOPs for digital evidence management:

  • “Download information and evidence into DIMS every day before the end of shift”
  • “Do not use personal cell phones or cameras for Police work”
  • “Do not pull the card of the system before it is finished”
  • “Do not make unauthorized copies or attempt to retain copies of evidence for personal use or storage”
  • “Log out of the DIMS web browser when finished viewing”