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Fort Collins police testing artificial intelligence to speed up report writing time

The department is one of three across the country testing the AI software that transcribes body camera video.
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Posted at 9:39 PM, May 17, 2024

FORT COLLINS, Colo. — In a first for Colorado law enforcement, the Fort Collins Police Services (FCPS) is testing artificial intelligence (AI) to transcribe body camera video and, in turn, speed up report writing time.

Following every call, officers must review their body camera video and write up a detailed report. Lengthy or complicated calls can mean more time at a desk and less time in the community. The department said the technology not only saves time but gets officers back out into the community.

"It's absolutely huge for law enforcement. It's going to change the gamut or spectrum of how we do our work," said FCPS Technology Sergeant Robert Younger.

According to the department, the AI software transcribes bodycam video and provides a near-verbatim log.

"I have done a test video where we were standing next to a train and you could make out everything in the AI video. [It] came out perfectly," said Sgt. Younger.

Unlike ChatGPT, Younger said this AI does not make assumptions or offer suggestions.

"They've turned the volume on the creativity part all the way down," he said.

Once a draft is created, the software requires officers to provide additional information, such as details of the scene.

As AI makes its way into policing, Rashad Younger, second vice president of the Colorado NAACP, wants to make sure the technology is fair.

"We don't want to be the target and profile just because we're wearing certain clothing. And we don't know if AI is going to do that," said Rashad Younger.

Sgt. Younger said the 46 Fort Collins officers currently testing the technology must verify the accuracy of the report that was created before signing off on it.

The agency estimates that 19,000 hours a year are spent writing reports. It's estimated this technology will cut down that time by 67%.

"We need to be able to make sure that AI is a tool that's assisting, but it should not replace officers being in the community," said Rashad Younger.

Sgt. Younger said officers, so far, have enjoyed the technology.

"My hope is that by utilizing this technology, we will put people back out on the streets where they can talk to friends, neighbors, community members, be present, respond to calls, be engaged and proactive and less time inside a building somewhere working on a report," said Sgt. Younger.


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