Working Group on Imaging Technologies (SWGIT)
Version 1.2, December 6, 2001
from the Chair
Needs Assessment.......2: Cost Analysis......3:
Image Resolution.......4: Image Storage.......5:
Image Compression.......6: Equipment Evaluation.......7:
Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).......8:
Training.......9: Recurring Costs.......10:
provides managers with considerations generated by SWGIT members.
The migration to new imaging technology may significantly affect
current work processes and should be done only after examining current
operating procedures and completing a needs assessment. This should
involve the participation of the organization's imaging and/or subject
matter experts. Examining current operating procedures is the crucial
first step in implementing new imaging technology.
1: Needs Assessment1
- Prior to
selecting digital imaging technology, current practices must be
examined to determine if there is a need to replace or enhance
should be given to a hybrid imaging system where some or all of
the current equipment is used in conjunction with a new technology.
2: Cost Analysis
- Prior to
selecting a digital imaging system, a cost-benefit analysis must
be conducted to determine the cost justification of a system purchase
and to determine the possible advantages and disadvantages to
the agency with its implementation.
- This analysis
would allow a financial comparison between the current and proposed
imaging systems to make a procurement decision.
- To determine
a cost estimate, the following components should be considered:
system hardware, software, and maintenance; application software;
communications hardware and software; training; project management;
facilities upgrades and site preparation; and staffing and miscellaneous
- A typical
cost justification includes the following major areas: a study
of current operations, proposed system architecture, equipment
pricing, and financial indicators, including a payback period.
3: Image Resolution1
- When determining
resolution requirements, the intended usage, data storage requirements,
and the need for accurate reproduction of the image must be considered.
4: Image Storage2
images must be preserved on separable media.
- The selection
of a storage media may depend on budget considerations for the
agency. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages.
5: Image Compression
affects image quality and should be considered carefully.
- Lossy compression,
such as JPEG, can result in the loss of critical details. The
use of this type of compression may render an image unsuitable
for forensic analysis.
6: Equipment Evaluation
used to evaluate suitability of new imaging technology should
include feedback from agencies currently using the equipment in
similar applications, product reviews, and vendor specification
- Prior to
making a final selection, require a demonstration of new imaging
technologies using representative samples of casework.
- Do not rely
solely upon prepackaged demonstrations.
7: Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)
- SOPs must
be developed to ensure consistency, quality, integrity, and repeatability
of the process.
- A staff member
should be responsible for the overall project management, system
administration, and maintenance of the SOPs.
- It is the
responsibility of a staff member, rather than vendors and manufacturers,
to maintain written documentation of system procedures and SOPs,
including access and security policies and procedures.
- Initial and
continuing training in imaging technology is required.
9: Recurring Costs
managers should be aware of the cost of maintaining and upgrading
imaging systems. Unless these costs are factored into the budget,
the system is in danger of becoming obsolete. Some agencies annually
budget approximately 15 percent of the original system acquisition
cost for upgrades, training, and maintenance.
10: Legal Considerations
- SOPs should
be designed to protect the integrity of the images.
- The user
should be familiar with how the rules of evidence apply.
Guidelines for Field Applications of Imaging
and Guidelines for the Use of Imaging Technologies in the Criminal
Guidelines and Recommendations for Training
in Imaging Technologies in the Criminal Justice System
of the page