Sheriff loses dashcam video evidence in tech snafu

Chief Deputy Austin Garrett talks with reporters to introduce a new openness policy for the Hamilton County sheriff’s department. Department spokeswoman Rachel Frizzell is second from right. (Photo David Tulis)

In January, Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office networking specialists were performing routine maintenance on in-house servers and observed slowness when restarting the server processing in-car videos. 

By Rachel Frizzell / Hamilton County Sheriff’s office

Upon internal research and consultation with operating and backup software manufacturers, it was determined that an abnormal number of backup snapshots had accumulated on the server.  Under the direction of the manufacturer of the software we initiated a consolidation process that did not correct the issue.

HCSO Networking Specialists worked with the manufacturers of the software in use and ultimately identified and sent the data drives to a company that specializes in recovery. Recovery was unsuccessful.  HCSO Networking Specialists simultaneously stood up a new server so that in car cameras could resume the process of uploading data.

The uploaded data impacted in the loss began with data uploaded on October 25th, 2018 through January 23rd, 2020.

Sheriff Jim Hammond immediately notified the Hamilton District Attorney’s Office and the Hamilton County Mayor’s Office once the loss of data was confirmed.

The HCSO began seriously looking into implementing body cameras and ultimately moving in car camera video storage to leased cloud-based storage in April 2019.

This data loss event speeds up the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office’s plans to ask for additional funding to implement the body cameras and to also include in-car cameras to expedite the move to cloud-based storage.

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