Avid Aids Forensic Video Lab Efforts

The Avid-equipped video forensic classroom at the University of Indianapolis.

INDIANAPOLIS —The importance of video footage as evidence in court cases cannot be understated. As recent events such as the Boston bombing have shown, video is playing an increasingly vital role in identifying the perpetrators of criminal activity and bringing them to justice. That’s why more law enforcement agencies are sending their personnel for training in forensic video analysis.

Founded in 1989, LEVA (Law Enforcement & Emergency Services Video Association) is a non-profit corporation that provides advanced Forensic Video Analysis training to the law enforcement community using state-of-the-art tools and equipment. Since offering our first training course in 2000 at Quantico, Va., our program has grown exponentially.

The LEVA forensic video analysis certification curriculum teaches the intricacies of working with digital video, including DVR processing, video extraction through DVR, research and codec recognition, and more. All of the training for our established curriculum is provided in one facility, making LEVA a one-of-a-kind program within the discipline.

Avid products have been essential tools for our workflow since day one. In 2011, when we assisted with the large-scale investigation of the Vancouver Stanley Cup hockey riots, we relied on Avid Media Composer to create a database for the Vancouver police.

In the aftermath of the Boston bombings, LEVA’s board of directors voted to upgrade all the equipment in our University of Indianapolis lab facility. The main goal was to provide students with cutting-edge tools for training purposes, while at the same time outfitting LEVA’s forensic response team—which needs to be prepared to help other law enforcement agencies at a moment’s notice.

We purchased an Avid ISIS 5000 shared storage system to replace an aging Unity LANshare. Currently there are 20 Media Composer/Ocean Systems dTective desktop systems sharing the ISIS 5000 in our lab.

We store all of the content for our training curriculum on ISIS. Students can access the media they need, load it on their local system and work with the video using the tools we’ve asked them to use. When it’s time to turn in the completed assignment, they simply load it back on ISIS for review.

In the past, we were limited by the number of connections we could make, and where people could access the server. Not anymore. Our new facility consists of a 32 TB Avid ISIS engine capable of 90 client connections via Gigabit Ethernet.

ISIS has eliminated the problems we used to have—the accessibility of the system has greatly enhanced the workflow and collaboration between our faculty and students. Plus, the scalability of the system is tremendous. We’re currently working to expand our system to include a second ISIS engine and Avid Interplay.

These upgrades make the LEVA lab the premiere place for forensic video and digital multimedia analysis training. It also serves as the most state-of-the-art and well-equipped facility for any large-scale forensic video examination and processing response.

I couldn’t be more pleased with ISIS— and our partnership with Avid. As we continue progressing and expanding, LEVA will look to Avid to provide guidance, the latest technology, and cutting-edge solutions to accelerate our workflow and bolster our program.

Blaine Davison is the president of LEVA and has been with the organization since 2005. He is also a detective with the Norman, Okla. police department, where he serves as the department’s forensic video analyst. He may be contacted atblaine.davison@gmail.com.

For additional information, contact Avid Sales at 978-640-6789 or visitwww.avid.com (opens in new tab).