Columbus Police working to recover thousands of deleted cruiser videos

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The Columbus Division of Police is working to try to recover about 100,000 cruiser videos that were inadvertently deleted.

According to CPD, on March 13, the Columbus Police Technical Services Bureau became aware that approximately 100,000 cruiser videos dating back to 2015 had been deleted during an administrative action.

Police Chief Kim Jacobs says at the end of 2015 the department started using a new classification system for filing videos collected from cruiser cameras.

Jacobs said a veteran officer in the Police Technical Services Bureau was trying to retroactively change the classification on older videos in the system to match the new classifications.

“Instead of transferring over to the new system, the settings defaulted to a 90-day retention schedule and because most of them were from 2015, they automatically purged to that 90-day retention schedule,” Jacobs said.

The Columbus Division of Police Technical Services Bureau the Columbus Department of Technology is working to recover the cruiser video but efforts have not been successful so far.

Jacobs said videos needed for criminal cases are usually copied within a few days or weeks. She believes the impact on current or future criminal cases will be minimal.

The chief said the department will be working to develop system safeguards and built-in warnings to prevent mass deletions in the future.

“We don’t believe that the system warns you, like my iPhone says ‘Before you do this, are you sure you want to do it?’ We don’t believe this system informed our employee that there was going to be the result from the change process that he was using,” Jacobs said.

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