A Lesson From the Chicago P.D. on Using Audio Surveillance to Improve Evidence Collection.


When interrogating a witness or suspect, the last thing an officer wants to be concerned with is whether the audio monitoring system is fully functional.

And for good reason: Imagine a witness interrogation yielding a smoking gun-type of confession and not having the recording stand up in court due to poor evidence collection standards or crackling audio from faulty equipment.

This concern highlights the story of the Chicago P.D., a police department with over 12,244 sworn officers tasked with upholding the peace in a city of 2.7 million inhabitants.

The Chicago P.D. Adopts Audio Surveillance

The initial problem the Chicago P.D. faced was nothing unordinary: Operational challenges like a disproportionate influx of inmates are the concern of police departments in metropolitan areas across the country.

To combat this potential challenge, the Chicago P.D. laid out plans to retrofit their entire facility with expanded monitoring and surveillance equipment. Part of this plan was to equip interview rooms and lineup rooms with reliable audio surveillance equipment.

Audio Surveillance in Evidence Collection

The Chicago P.D. turned to Miles Cowan, principal product manager at TASER International to enhance their audio and surveillance systems. Miles recommended adding the AOP-IPFX (Updated Model AOP-530), a two-way intercom system capable of recording audio while preserving attorney-client rights.

By implementing a mute-switch, privacy is honored while the integrity of the recording, especially elements like the relational timeline, are preserved. (Note: For those not in the legal field, relational timelines an important aspect of audio recordings in court proceedings.)

To learn more about the Chicago P.D.’s experience, click here.