Matthew Rudell, Senior Crime Laboratory Analyst – Florida Department of Law Enforcement
March 25, 2020
For twelve years I worked for a statewide crime lab (Florida Department of Law Enforcement) conducting digital forensic analysis on a wide variety of media. While most of my work involved analyzing hard drives and cell phones for state and local law enforcement agencies, I was also tasked with conducting video and image enhancement for those same agencies. Everything you can image that might require enhancement was submitted from modern cell phone video, to high end DVR systems, to VHS video cassettes from cold cases. As the statewide crime lab, we were expected to handle it all.
Coming into this field as a digital forensic analyst had its challenges. We have certain ideas about the way you handle data, how to best preserve information from hard drives, and what constitutes a “forensically sound” process. These are things we hold much more dear in the lab than perhaps the investigators working in the field or on the scene. One of the things I most appreciate about Cognitech products is that they are built specifically with these issues in mind. These products are built from the ground up for a specific purpose, and backed by years of research and rigorous testing.
Like many forensic labs, we had several tools in our toolbox to do our job. Many different tools for forensic imaging, several different tools to conduct forensic analysis, three or four more for cell phone extraction and analysis. This is just good practice as instances arise where one tools is more appropriate for certain situations, or you may need to validate your findings by using a different tool. Time and time again, when a case called for video enhancement, I turned to Cognitech as my primary tool. The capabilities, the relative ease-of -use, and the strong scientific foundation just made it the right and easy choice whether the task called for demultiplexing, converting video formats, stabilizing, or the variety of other enhancement capabilities built in.
Matthew Rudell –Former Senior Crime Laboratory Analyst – Florida Department of Law Enforcement
Current – MEDEX Trainer III/Lecturer - NFSTC@FIU (National Forensic Science Technology Center at Florida International University)
Samuel Ruiz, Los Angeles Police Officer
October 22, 2010
With a career in law enforcement for 20 years consisting of street patrol in South Central Los Angeles, assignment to Homicide Detectives, collection of forensic evidence (latent fingerprints — visible, impression, and latent) utilizing one of the three groups or a combination of the three groups. I have also worked with using physical techniques, chemical techniques and instrumental techniques, cyanoacrylate fuming (often called the super glue method), photography/scientific microscope, and used the worlds first and only, fully integrated forensic video/image software.
I will share the direct/real benefits and the specific benefits received. Like you, a law enforcement officer, I was concerned about what I should and could do. Wondering if any one product could really help and be beneficial in the reduction of crime, by the identification of criminals, with forensic enhancement expertise that could be leveraged to the department and me.
Having satisfactorily and successfully performed all of the requirements for the completion course, personally purchased Cognitech’s Video Investigator, Cognitech’s VideoActive, a Cognitech Workstation with additional RAID and a laptop with a forensic acquisition card. All of these products incurred the benefits I desired, just like it will do for you. Also, no, you do not have to purchase all the aforementioned equipment as I did.
The direct/real benefit is the comprehensive system: a 21st century state-of-the-art integrated system and software. Cognitech’s products aren’t exclusively made for law enforcement. They’re also made for military, homeland security, NASA, DOD applications, surveillance, vehicle identification, geo-intelligence and of course forensic applications. I have performed many real time forensic video operations from degradable video surveillance footage with impressive and successful results. I have also used photographed latent prints and employed user-friendly plug-ins to enhance and zoom for detail close ups.
The specific benefit is a fully automatic, real-time software-base de-multiplexer that is capable of de-multiplexing any hardware multiplexer on the market. Additionally, I can simultaneously capture, process and output processed data of one or several de-multiplexed camera views.
I strongly recommend attending the seminar offered by Cognitech Inc. Learning and applying all that Cognitech’s Video Investigator, Cognitech’s VideoActive and Cognitech’s new AutoMeasure can accomplish. I found the video processing software and integrated solutions user-friendly, easy to navigate when stabilizing moving images, analyze, process, capture obscure faces, license plates and de-script scenes.
Video Investigator’s powerful 15 tools in its software package afford the end user to maximize total control with video files and still images. We all know that a suspect comes in all shades and colors and applying several of Video Investigator’s: Enhancement, Histogram Editor, Denoise Filters, Segmentation tools bring out and allow you to visualize and analyze the contents of a still photograph or video. These powerful tools have the potential to render the poorly visible tattoo or birthmark that previously was elusive or not discernible. What is also very helpful is the complete and easy to read, color manual which the user can easily follow and understand. In addition, the manual and the help menu can be opened and/or closed in order to seek assistance while processing.
Of course, I considered what technical support would be available before purchasing Cognitech products. The staff was courteous and professional. I found their technical support personnel to be scientists focused on the right place to explore areas of forensic enhancement in a professional environment. They are knowledgeable, patient and will spend time to resolve your problem(s) by providing a more substantive response each and every time. They are able to provide technical and scientific information and support in the field of image enhancement. I have encountered problems, had queries either by phone or by walk-in appointment with resolve. They are fully involved in the review, the research and in finding solutions. Cognitech’s technical support continues to study the best path to take in offering assistance.
Having availed oneself and put to advantage Cognitech’s products since 1999, I personally recommend Cognitech’s products as an essential tool in modern police work to develop fruitful investigative leads invaluable to all Law Enforcement Departments and fellow officers.
In the spirit of cooperation, Cognitech offers exceptional effort, support and assistance in the field of forensic computer-aided crime detection. When in the Los Angeles area, stop by Cognitech and meet CEO Lenny Rudin, PhD, who founded Cognitech Inc. in 1988.
–Samuel Ruiz, Los Angeles Police Department
Robert Sanderson, Audio Video Forensic Lab, Inc.
October 19, 2010
“I’m picky about starting out with the best raw video I can acquire. I’m also on the road a lot and very impressed with the experiences I’ve had with this gear especially when I’ve got only one shot at it. From the most comprehensive capturing available, including DVI hardware and a process which virtually guarantees I will get those impossible video overlays, to the always reliable USB mobile capture card with built-in time base correction, I’m confident in my ability to gather raw evidence accurately and quickly. As for capturing hours of footage, which I do often, the .cog file format is amazing and very economical. Hands down, it is the least data intensive uncompressed format available.
Cognitech just shipped me a fully configured killer laptop with the Total Station DVI card and let me tell you this is one powerful mobile system. I need to reproduce highly accurate detail and so I appreciate Video Investigator’s new Active Interface which sports real time, frame by frame analysis to tweak my velocity, enhancement and reconstruction filter settings. The techniques developed at Cognitech are in a class by themselves. The gear is effective and highly configurable. This dedication to the science and application of video analysis is quite astonishing.
Due to different compression schemes in DVR’s, cell phones and webcams, every video is different with respect to how a filter acts on it. One thing which I find very useful and important in Video Investigator is the ability to choose different methods of rescaling, velocity estimation and deblurring and compare the results as I process. Different methods, when tested and combined in the workflow, become a finely tuned processing strategy and thus can yield more accurate results than oversimplified approaches.”
No matter what system one uses there will always be times that, for whatever reason, the system doesn’t work. Inevitably this will happen when you can least afford to be down. My experience has been when I’m on the road and absolutely had to get back up and running ASAP, Cognitech was there for me. Nights, weekends whatever. I’ve saved countless dollars in delays not to mention avoiding what might have affected results in a case. This is a level of assurance I rarely see with large corporations.”
–Robert Sanderson, Audio Video Forensic Lab, Inc.
Chief of Police Roger Overholt, Morristown Police Department
October 04, 2004
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you and all the folks at Cognitech, particularly those in the Customer Service Department, for your continued support. As a new user of the Cognitech software and the only one at the Morristown, TN Police Department, your support is vital to my success. Having been through your 40-hour class, I have a basic understanding of the software and what it is capable of doing. I must now use it on a regular basis to become proficient. You and your staff are always there to answer all my questions in a timely and courteous manner.
Since implementation of the software here at the P.D. in May 2004, twenty-six items of media have been submitted to me for enhancement, only three of which were non-compatible with the system, viewing limited to the system on which they were recorded. Of the remaining twenty-three items, I was able to retrieve still photos for detectives on all of them. Many of these videos were multi-plexxed, which we previously has no capability of doing anything with. What a fantastic tool the Video-Active software is! Your user friendly software makes my job more enjoyable, and allows me to be creative in the Video Investigator (i.e.. the “skip frames” feature) to achieve the desired results.
Though we realize that the success derived is directly related to the quality of the media provided and the quality of the printer on which the finished product is printed, we have been pleased with our results thus far. We are currently in the process of looking at a higher end printer on which to print our stills so we can have in print what we actually see on the screen.
Again, thank you. I look forward to a continued successful relationship with Cognitech.
-Roger Overholt, Chief Of Police, Morristown Police Department
U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Jay Cohen, Chief of Naval Research
25 August, 2004
Thank you for your participation in this year’s Naval-Industry R&D Partnership Conference. As you know the objective of the conference is to deliver the best technology, irrespective of source, to U.S. Naval Forces with the speed of best commercial practices. Your expertise was greatly valued in the advancement of our objective.
We will soon be in the preliminary planning stages for next year’s Naval-Industry R&D Partnership Conference. In the coming months we may call on you again to assist us in understanding the issues and presenting the solutions to the never ending dilemma of getting the right solutions to the right warfighter at the right time. Thank you again for your outstanding support.
-Jay M. Cohen, Chief Of Naval Research, Department Of The Navy
Detective Tom Magazzeni, Tempe Police Department Homicide Unit
May 20, 2000
This letter is to express my appreciation to you and Cognitech, Inc. for your assistance with our 1997 homicide investigation. It has taken three years to find your company, a business that assists law enforcement with the latest technology in video enhancement.
I know it was no easy task to enhance the original security video or the police test video, especially with the amount of requests for assistance from other law enforcement agencies. Your prompt professional response to our request and the thoroughness of your work was very much appreciated.
Your work will help our investigation and is appreciated by our entire department and the prosecutor.
It is very refreshing to see a private company like yours assisting law enforcement. Your company is a credit to the community as well as our nation and should be commended.
Thank you for helping to fight “The Good Fight”.
-Detective Tom Magazzeni, Tempte Police Department
Sheriff Sherman Block, Sheriff of Los Angeles County
May 24, 1994
On the evening of December 27, 1993, our community suffered a tragic event, the murder of Manhattan Beach Police Officer Martin Ganz. This incident caused a tremendous outpouring of sympathy and support from the people who live and work in the South Bay area.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department was requested by the Manhattan Beach Police Department to assume the task of leading the investigation into the murder of Office Ganz.
During this period you and Dr. Stanley Osher volunteered the services of your company in processing the video surveillance tapes from bank cameras located near the shooting.
Additionally, we wish to recognize the outstanding contributions of Mr. Stephen Jensen, Image Processing Engineer. The combined application of extraordinary skills demonstrates how Cognitech, Inc. has become an intrinsic and vital part of the entire community.
While the investigation is yet to be concluded, the impressive engineering expertise and video processing capabilities of Cognitech, Inc. has resulted in the positive identification of the make and model of the vehicle driven by the killer. This major breakthrough will hopefully lead us to the positive identification of the murderer and his ultimate apprehension.
We would like to extend our sincere thanks to your corporation and personnel for your outstanding assistance during this investigation.
-Ted J. Mertens, Chief Of Police, City of Manhattan Beach & Sherman Block Sheriff