After several informational meetings in the last month, it appears likely that the Columbia Police Department will soon be able to access and view footage from many of the city’s businesses’ security cameras. This new technology, called FUSUS, would give the department a wide-ranging view of criminal activity with the goal of potentially solving crimes and catching criminals more quickly.
What is FUSUS?
FUSUS is a cloud-based platform that links together footage from different security cameras. This way, instead of having to search through hours of footage from multiple cameras, the police can easily access and view footage in real-time or near-real-time. The system is already being used by police departments in other cities, like Orlando, FL, which implemented the technology in 2020 with private businesses adding their cameras to the system voluntarily.
Advantages and Disadvantages
There are, of course, some disadvantages to this type of surveillance. One worry is that the police could abuse their power and use cameras to spy on people rather than catch criminals. Another concern, similar in nature, is the potential for profiling. If the police are constantly monitoring certain areas or groups of people, they could target them unfairly. For the record, Columbia Police Chief Geoff Jones has stated that the Columbia PD has no interest in using the FUSUS system for general surveillance, but rather to help with criminal investigations and to speed up the process of collecting evidence via video, which can often be a long and cumbersome process.
There are also some potential advantages to this system. Of course, the main benefit is that it could help the police catch criminals faster and solve crimes more efficiently. In addition, because footage would be stored in the cloud, it would be easier for the police to access and share the footage with other law enforcement agencies, which could help solve crimes that span multiple jurisdictions. Another potential benefit is it could help personal injury lawyers build stronger cases If someone is injured in an accident and there is security camera footage of the incident, that footage can be used as evidence to support the victim’s claim. The same is true for criminal defense lawyers – if there is video footage of an alleged crime, that footage can be used to help the accused.
In both instances, having access to security footage can be the difference between winning and losing a case. Even private citizens could opt-in to the system and allow Columbia Police to access their home security footage if they so choose. Another feature of the system is that if a business owner or homeowner ever decides that they want to limit or even revoke access to their camera footage, they can do so at any time.
Get Help from an Experienced Attorney
Whether you’ve been injured in an accident or accused of a crime, if there is video footage of the incident, it can be incredibly beneficial to have an experienced attorney on your side who knows how to collect and use that evidence. In addition to reviewing footage, a knowledgeable attorney will also be able to investigate the incident, speak to witnesses, and build a strong case on your behalf. They’ll also represent you in court and fight for the best possible outcome in your case. This pertains to both personal injury and criminal defense cases, where a skilled lawyer can make all the difference.
Contact Us if You Feel You’ve Been Illegally Searched
If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident or accused of a crime and there is video footage of the incident, contact the Law Offices of Chris Miller today for a free consultation. Our experienced attorneys can help you collect and use that evidence to build a strong case. We can also help if you believe you’ve been the victim of an illegal search by the police. Contact us today to learn more.