AURORA, Colo — The Aurora Police Department is in the final steps of procuring and implementing new artificial intelligence to review its officer body camera video.
The AI software, created by Chicago-based Truleo, analyzes all recorded footage to assist the department in assessing officer conduct, professionalism and de-escalation.
Currently, huge amounts of video are captured, but very little of it is actually reviewed — usually only when things go horribly wrong. The hope for this new tool is to give Aurora police and the community a better, more complete picture of officer interactions, Interim Chief Art Acevedo said.
“We have gathered so much data, but we’ve never truly used that data to ensure that our police officers learn from their mistakes, to be able to tell our story,” he explained. “We can actually use this data, to tell the story of policing, to tell the good, and to immediately be able to identify what we can do better.”
The software is built with safeguards in place to protect citizen privacy, according to Truleo, which sets it apart from other transcription software. Each Aurora police officer will have a “voice print” taken, Acevedo explained, which will then enable the AI to automatically redact other voices and personally identifiable information in its reports.
“Truleo is chosen by departments specifically because of our unique ability to separate civilian audio from officer audio, and focus our analysis and scoring on officer language while auto-redacting civilian [personally identifiable information],” Truleo CEO Anthony Tassone told Denver7. “This is in stark contrast to the brute body camera transcription and search technologies deployed by over a thousand police departments today that don't differentiate between civilian and officer audio.”
Acevedo told Denver7 the department will be giving academic researchers access to the tool and its reports for independent assessment.
Lindsay Minter, one of the original members of the Aurora Police Oversight Committee, said in-depth analysis of body camera footage was one of the committee’s top requests for reform within the department. While they were pushing for human review of video — and Minter still feels that is important — she said this tool could be good step in the right direction.
Minter added, however, that this tool is not a replacement for other forms of police leadership and community oversight.
“I think it’s an excellent start, if it proves that the technology is all that they sell it to be,” Minter said. “I hope it is. But I also hope in the technology being used that they don’t scrub reports… I just hope that it is complete transparency. I think it is a wonderful tool, if you use complete transparency.”
Acevedo said he expects the AI system to be in place at the department within the next two to four weeks.
“At the end of the day, I know and believe in my heart of hearts we’re going to be able to quantify just how good we’re doing,” he said. “And I think that’s a win for the men and women that we serve.”