Office of Justice Programs (OJP)

Charleston Forensic Video Analysis System

BJA Program(s): Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program
State(s): SC

Jurisdiction(s): City of Charleston

Grantee Agency: South Carolina Department of Public Safety
Subgrantee Agency: City of Charleston

Grant Amount/Year(s): FY 2014/$36,180

About the Program:

Charleston Police
Charleston Police. See the Feature Story to learn more.

With funding from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) program, the Charleston Police Department purchased a forensic video analysis system to expand its digital examination capabilities beyond computers and cell phones to video, image and audio files.

This need was identified due to an exponential increase in the amount of video, image, and audio evidence captured in both the private and public sector. The department needed a system to enhance and clarify what was recovered in order to maximize its potential to aid in investigations.

The department purchased the system in March 2015 and a team of personnel from the Forensic Services Division worked together to validate the system and develop policies and procedures for its use. Two members of the division, Cpl. Rodney Van Horn and Jim Mossman received formal grant-funded training in the use of the system.

Program Successes/Effect on the Community:

The Charleston Police Department was just days away from formally launching its new video analysis system when there was a tragic shooting of nine African-American churchgoers attending a bible study at Mother Emanuel AME Church.

Following the shooting, law enforcement acted quickly to identify Dylann Roof as their suspect. Police were able to quickly identify and apprehend this dangerous felon, in part due to the new technology that the City of Charleston Police Department had recently acquired with support from the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA).

Using surveillance footage from the church, law enforcement pulled photos of Roof and distributed them throughout the media. Immediately, calls came into the department identifying Roof and providing information on his potential whereabouts. Less than 16 hours after the attack, police had arrested their suspect, who was spotted in Shelby, North Carolina, nearly four hours away from Charleston.

Law enforcement officials said it was the very first time that this new forensic video surveillance system was used in an investigation.

See our feature story on the Charleston Police Department's forensic video analysis system to learn more.

Learn More:
To learn more about the program, please contact:
Judith Gordon
Forensic Services Director
Charleston Police Department
Email: gordonj@charleston-sc.gov
Phone: 843-556-7270

Also see the following site(s):

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