Streamlining Police Operations: The Advantages of Outsourcing Law Enforcement Transcription Services

These days, police departments across the country have their hands full due to significant increases in criminal activity. Many are short-staffed as well, trying to do more with fewer people. Given the unprecedented challenges facing law enforcement agencies across the country, did you know you can keep your squad focused on fighting crime and serving your community by outsourcing your law enforcement transcription duties? One of the benefits of outsourcing transcription involves the efficient use of resources to tackle this growing problem. Discover some of the other perks below.

What Is Law Enforcement Transcription?

Law enforcement transcription is the conversion of recorded police videos, interrogations and other evidentiary media into textual documents. When done in house, the process often proves time-consuming and can be fraught with error. Many law enforcement agencies choose to outsource police transcription duties to save time and improve accuracy.

What Is Outsourced Transcription?

Outsourced transcription is the conversion of video and audio files to text that takes place outside the police station by non-law enforcement personnel. Hiring a company to perform peace-keeping transcription services can save an agency considerable money and allow local staff to focus on core duties.

Instead of being a tedious, time-consuming chore that takes your personnel away from the duties they’ve been trained to do, you can send recordings off to a professional transcription agency and get accurate, court-ready transcripts in return.

7 Benefits of Outsourcing Your Law Enforcement Transcription Duties

There are many advantages that come from streamlining your agency’s workflow by outsourcing your police department transcription tasks. Most police chiefs and sheriffs express relief at not needing to keep their staff on top of their legal transcription assignments. Let’s discuss some of the other benefits of outsourced transcription.

1. Saves Time. Law enforcement transcription companies specialize in transcribing bodycam footage, interrogation videos and media collected as evidence. Because they do it all day, every day, remote law enforcement transcribers complete their work faster, meaning the transcripts will show up on your desk sooner.

2. Saves Money. When you hire a legal transcription business to transcribe your audio and video, you can expect to pay less than you would by assigning the task to one of your staff. You can direct the resources you save to other cases or ongoing initiatives.

3. Fewer Distractions. Police transcription requires a quiet place to work, specialized AV equipment and focus. Those who carry out police department transcriptions can easily become distracted by the goings-on of a busy police station. Likewise, the process of transcribing police evidence in house can distract other members of your squad. Outsourcing means the work happens away from the bustle of the department offices, benefiting both officers and transcriptionists.

4. Improved Accuracy. Perhaps the most important benefit of outsourced transcription involves the accuracy of the final transcripts. When trying a case in court, the police transcripts must be precise to avoid a mistrial or acquittal. Put your law enforcement agency transcription assignments in the hands of seasoned experts to take some of the pressure off your staff.

5. Heightened Security. Legal transcription companies utilize the latest technology to encrypt transcribed media and protect the integrity of potential evidence. Even if someone happens to gain access to the files, they won’t be able to decrypt and view them. This helps protect the integrity of sensitive case information.

6. Unbroken Chain of Custody. Businesses specializing in police transcription maintain strict protocols to preserve an unbroken chain of custody. Transcription companies can not deal with all types of evidence but remain cognizant of which files they can transcribe and ensure the chain of custody stays intact for those documents they do handle.

7. Safer Streets. Ultimately, outsourcing your police department transcription duties will lead to fewer errors, a refocused police force, and more convictions. When you add everything up, it works out to safer streets for police officers and civilians.

Common Questions on Outsourced Law Enforcement Transcription

How long does it take to transcribe one hour of audio?
On average, it takes four hours for a professional transcriptionist to transcribe one hour of audio for a single speaker. (Non-professionals, such as law enforcement employees, generally take much longer.) However, that figure will change depending on the quality and quantity of the audio, how fast people are talking, and how many different people are speaking.

What other factors impact transcription time?
The length of time it takes to transcribe any content will depend on whether the file contains video and audio or just audio. Video files require additional effort to describe the actions that take place, which increases the processing time. Content that includes more than one speaker, such as a police interview, will also take longer. However, the time it takes to transcribe the interview will also depend on how quickly both parties talk and how much they say.

Does transcription count as data entry?
Transcription is not the same thing as data entry. Law enforcement transcription requires more skill and experience than data entry. Data entry involves the mere transfer of data, whereas professional police transcription services require the conversion of data from one form of media to another.

Outsourcing your law enforcement transcription can be a game-changer for your department. Instead of being a tedious, time-consuming chore that takes your personnel away from the duties they’ve been trained to do, you can send recordings off to a professional transcription agency and get accurate, court-ready transcripts in return. Your department will benefit from the time and money savings, and your officers will be free to focus on the tasks that matter most to them and the public.

Ofer Tirosh

OFER TIROSH is the founder and CEO of Tomedes, a translation company that offers solutions to businesses and Fortune 500 companies. He has worked with experienced experts in legal matters and concerns, including professionals within LexTranscribe's law enforcement transcription.

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