Do more of what you do best
By Johann Hofmann, CEO, Griffeye.
A single case today can contain hundreds of thousands—if not millions—of images and videos. This puts an incredible amount of pressure on the police officers tasked with investigating and solving it. Not only are they overwhelmed with information they need to thoroughly comb through to spot critical clues and potential evidence, but they are also pressured by the need to do so as quickly as possible to make sure victims are safeguarded and criminals are put behind bars.
Placing all this pressure entirely on investigators’ shoulders is not a viable option. As a tech company with the mission to serve these police officers in their work of protecting our communities and the people in it, we must constantly ask ourselves: How can we better aid and empower them in their work?
At Griffeye, we develop technology that helps investigators process, sort, and analyze large volumes of images and videos. We believe that it’s by staying focused on this task and mission that we can generate the most impact.
Still, we know from our many years working alongside law enforcement that no single technology is “the silver bullet.” Our users require an ecosystem of tools in order to put all the pieces of a case together. So, our goal is not to solve everything with our platform, but rather to build a platform that is as open and modular as possible. This way, we can collaborate and integrate with other tech providers and third-party solutions, and thereby offer law enforcement the best possible solution for their needs—while giving us at Griffeye the possibility to focus on our area of expertise, doing what we do best.
This approach is something we also apply when innovating and developing technology for our end users. The enormous piles of data we see in digital investigations today are far from realistic for any human to handle on their own. Luckily, they don’t have to. We want to enable investigators to focus on what they do best: exposing evidence, assembling clues, and solving the case. As for the heavy data-lifting, we believe it should be left to the computer.
Empowering investigators to reclaim their focus
The stress and overwhelm often hits before an investigation even begins, as police officers find themselves burdened with the ethical dilemma of deciding which case to prioritize first when all of them are equally urgent. The approach taken can have a critical impact. Opening a case and starting from scratch is equally challenging. How does one cut through masses of data and identify the key details and visual attributes that can move the investigation forward?
Knowing which case to prioritize and how to approach it is an investigative moment in which technology can bring relief and make a big difference. For instance, technology can automatically classify and sort all content before an investigator even sits down to start their work. It will flag content that is relevant to the case—such as images identified as being explicit, or images that contain known victims or criminals, or known details that relate to a crime scene. It will also group similar images together. All of this means that investigators no longer have to comb through everything manually. Instead, they can quickly look through all relevant and necessary evidence and come to conclusions faster and in a more structured way.
Filling in gaps and strengthening collaboration
A lot of the critical details that link together or identify key content is challenging for the human eye to detect—especially an eye fatigued from analyzing thousands of pieces of similar content. So the technology is critical for ensuring that cases are completed as thoroughly as possible.
Another added frustration is that many of the departments that make up a police force work in silos. This is typically not by choice but rather because many forces lack the processes and technology that would allow them to collaborate more seamlessly. This means that an officer in one force could find themselves working through content that another force has already processed. Working in silos also leads to missed opportunities. Files that have been analyzed and filed by another department fighting another case could offer up important links. If cases are managed manually and non-collaboratively, these links can often be missed. Deploying technology that automates processes and interconnects workflows across forces is critical to addressing both of these issues and amplifying efforts.
Making the most of the human skillset
The concept of man and the machine is nothing new. Simply explained, it is about integrating the two and thereby improving the efficiency of the human. This integration is vital for investigators who would otherwise waste a huge amount of time on repetitive, manual work and time-consuming tasks. Such tasks can be more efficiently handled by technology. By applying the right tools, investigators can better prioritize their efforts, find critical clues faster, and free up time and resources to focus on the tasks that require their human skills and knowledge.
When the sheer volume of data stops being a burden, it becomes an opportunity to do more. I believe that investigators can do more— not by working harder, but by having the right tools and support that enable them to work smarter. Our goal at Griffeye is to be at the heart of that solution by working with the police and equipping and training our end-users to get the most out of the technology; maximizing their efforts and aiding them to do more of what they do best.
Johann Hofmann, CEO, Griffeye
“By applying the right tools, investigators can prioritize their efforts, find critical clues, and free up time and resources to focus on the tasks that require their human skills and knowledge.”
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