Fairfax Co. police to use AI to analyze body camera footage, improve interactions with public – WTOP

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An example of the body-worn cameras being used by Fairfax County police.(Courtesy Fairfax County Police Department)

Video captured on police body-worn cameras is becoming a widely used method of documenting how officers interact with the public. A local Northern Virginia police department will now use artificial intelligence to try to improve those interactions.

Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis told the Board of Supervisors Tuesday that the department will be the first in Virginia to utilize Truleo, a Chicago-based company, which analyzes and automatically categorizes body camera videos instead of having people manually review them.

“It captures audio only, and transcribes every word that the body-worn camera catches — every word,” Davis told the supervisors.

Davis said the department trains the Truleo AI on words that officers shouldn’t generally be using in their interactions with the public.

“There are occasions in policing when language is used that’s not always pristine,” Davis said. “But we’re also interested in other words, like ‘thank you,’ ‘you’re welcome,’ and ‘how can I help you?’”

Davis said having artificial intelligence sort through officers’ interactions with the public is far more efficient than hours spent manually reviewing tapes during performance reviews.

“So now, you’ll be able to pull up Kevin Davis’ Truleo, and see what words he is using to interact with the community, and are these words consistent with our expectation?” Davis told the supervisors.

He said information on the officers’ word choice can be used in training, “to keep ahead” of problems and live up to the department’s goals of transparency and trust-building.

“We look at (the words) and say, ‘Are they consistent with what we say out loud — are we walking the walk, or just talking the talk?’” Davis said.

In response to privacy concerns raised by Providence District Supervisor Dalia Palchik, Davis said information that would currently be redacted would continue to be redacted, in transcriptions gathered by Truleo.

“Truleo is only on when the body-worn camera is activated. When the body camera is not on, Truleo will not be on,” Davis told Palchik.

According to the company’s website, Truleo is being used with dozens of law enforcement agencies across the country.

“Truleo partnered with FBI National Academy to build models that detect critical events and deconstruct officers’ language into professionalism metrics to help agencies promote best practices, train new officers, and mitigate risk,” Truleo’s website outlined.

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