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Police and Seattle IT Working to Address July Dashcam Data Loss

On July 15, 2016, the SPD experienced a failure in the storage system that holds digital in car video (DICV) recordings, ultimately resulting in a limited loss of data.

The data loss occurred when a storage system error prevented the writing of DICV to long term storage. Our analysis limits the loss to 2,283 digital in car video (DICV) recordings primarily recorded during July 13 and 14, 2016.

After conducting an analysis of records for this two day period, the department has determined less than 25-percent of the videos (or 537 of the 2,283) were of an evidentiary or investigative nature. The lost DICV recordings also included 89 arrests, 138 traffic citations, 95 oral warnings, 35 police street “Terry stop” contacts, 60 crisis contacts, and five incidents involving low-level type-one uses of force. However, the overwhelming majority of the videos contained officers’ beginning of shift in-car video tests, or low-level disturbance calls.

Technicians believe the video is irretrievable as it has been confirmed to have been overwritten.  We do not believe any other data is missing.

The City is implementing additional technical and procedural controls and safeguards to ensure that data loss of this type is not repeated.

While DICV recording is integrated into Seattle Police daily operational procedures, the majority of police departments in Washington State do not use DICV.

All investigations stemming from police work on July 13 and 14 will still move forward.

UPDATE with timeline and event response data (PDF):

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