APD launches new video evidence collection team, freeing up detectives

Local News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Tracking down videos that could be used as evidence in crime takes up a lot of time. Now, the Albuquerque Police Department is launching a new team that will focus on collecting video, saving crucial time for detectives.

“Most home and business owners want to help us with video evidence,” said APD Deputy Chief Art Gonzalez. “This team makes it easier and more efficient to gather that video evidence, and ultimately helps us make arrests.”

The Digital Image and Video Recovery Team (DIVRT) gets called in once an investigation is already underway. Technicians will visit the growing number of businesses and homes who have security cameras, to collect videos that may be used as evidence.

“Each video harvest takes on average from 1:30 all the way up to 24 hours, depending on the amount of footage that is required. So as part of the process, we ask the investigators and our the field officers to provide approx times for when the incident happened that way they can dial it down into an approximate time period,” said Commander Chris George with APD.

“Once we collect video, we start to review between the three of us assigned to this unit, we’ll start noticing identifiable marks or vehicles and once that happens we’ll contact a detective right away and let them know,” said Greg Toya, one of the technicians assigned to DIVRT.

The team includes three technicians with a combined 60 years’ law enforcement experience. Since the team’s launch in January, they’ve received 400 requests for video evidence, which can be critical when the case goes to trial.

“There’s nothing more convincing when you can play a copy of a surveillance video clip and on video show, a judge or a jury show them on video what exactly you’re portraying to them verbally,” said Greg Toya, a DIVRT Tech.

Additionally, APD uses a program called the Security Camera Analytical Network or SCAN, which maps the location of security cameras across Bernalillo County. Both law enforcement and prosecutors can use SCAN to identify security cameras near crime scenes, connecting criminals to one another and to crimes. 

985 residences and 189 businesses are currently registered. If you have a security camera system at your home or business, APD encourages you to sign up for SCAN.

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