Law Enforcement: Chicago PD

NEED

The city of Chicago, Illinois has a residential population over 2.7 million, while the Chicago Police Department (Chicago PD) has a total of 12,244 sworn officers. With the city’s dense population and high crime rate, there’s always the possibility that the department could see an influx of suspects disproportionate to the number of officers on hand. To proactively prepare for operational challenges like this, the police department moved to upgrade its overall security system as well as its recording equipment for the interrogation rooms.

SOLUTION

Chicago PD turned to TASER International, a company that specializes in manufacturing and distributing public safety technologies, to recommend a solution. The department specifically worked with Miles Cowan, principal product manager at TASER, for the project. TASER provided the police department with Louroe Electronics’ AOP-SP-PB, a microphone and speaker hybrid, and IF-PX, a single-zone Power over Ethernet (PoE) extractor, to be installed in the corners of their interview and line up rooms. Apart from obtaining crystal clear audio, this technology offers the ability to mute a conversation without discontinuing the recording timeline. The solution ensures privacy when necessary and is easy to use, making it ideal for the department.

RESULTS

By installing Louroe’s technology, Chicago PD has been able to enjoy a high-quality, comprehensive and practical recording system that preserves spoken evidence, while protecting the rights of all those involved. Through the muting feature of the audio equipment, attorneys are able to meet with their clients without having to be relocated to another area, which ultimately increases operational efficiency.

When interrogating a witness or a suspect, the last thing a law enforcement officer wants to be concerned with is whether the audio monitoring system is fully functional. At any moment, a crucial piece of evidence may accidently slip past a suspect’s lips, and it’s important to have the right advanced technology to capture it. Interrogations and interactions with witnesses, suspects and criminals are pivotal in legal proceedings, and the accuracy and quality of these recordings is key to their legitimacy.

The Chicago Police Department (PD) realized its six-year-old analog security technology was outdated and no longer met the security needs of the department. As a result, the team sought the advice of Miles Cowan, principal product manager at TASER International, on how to enhance their audio system. Cowan recommended and later installed a special microphone/two-way speakerphone AOP solution from Louroe Electronics called the AOP-SP-PB. The audio equipment was set up in the interview and lineup rooms.

The primary advantage of this microphone/speaker combo is that it can be muted for interviews that have attorney-client privilege. Moreover, the speaker emits a sound every 30 seconds to assure those within range that they are not being recorded and their conversation is confidential. Another benefit of the audio solution is that when the mute function is engaged, the recording timeline continues to tick making sure the documented audio remains as one continuous recorded session. As a result, evidence is easier to access and analyze.

According to Cowan, the Chicago PD project was the first time his team had set up an audio hardware product like that for a customer.

“It actually worked out very well and I would definitely recommend [it],” Cowan said.

He added, “this particular [hardware] piece is something we want to stay with and continue to use Louroe [for] based on service and product quality.”

In relation to customer service, Cowan affirmed that the technology provided by Louroe “has been pretty straight forward and has always functioned right away out of the box.” For the times that Cowan did have questions about the product, he explained that Louroe was “very clear on what had to get done, had a clear, set game-plan, and ultimately discovered [the solution] very quickly.”

When asked how Chicago PD likes Louroe’s audio solution, Cowan expressed that “they are happy with the quality of the sound now. It is consistent, it doesn’t fade out, and they are picking up every word.”

Cowan also emphasized that having a reliable, quality recording system is crucial to any case because “making sure the jury can hear what is being said is a very important part, probably just as important, if not more important, than the video itself.”

Overall, Louroe’s AOP-SP-PB and IF-PX exceeded Chicago PD’s expectations in terms of quality and consistency. A recording device of this caliber, coupled with Louroe’s attentive and efficient customer service, has given the department great confidence when securing auditory evidence.

 
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This particular [hardware] piece is something we want to stay with and continue to use Louroe [for] based on service and product quality.
Miles Cowan
Principal Product Manager, TASER International

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