FBI agents using skills learned at UIndy to crack Boston case

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Police say video could play a key role in finding who is responsible for the Boston Marathon bombing.  Whether it is video gathered from surveillance cameras or on a cell phone, any video of the bombing or the marathon could crack the case. FBI agents are deciphering video at a forensics video lab in Quantico, Va.  One of the only other forensic video labs that compares to the one being used is located on the University of Indianapolis campus.

“This facility is really one of a kind and the people who operate it- the law enforcement video association- they really are the repository of this type of expertise not only in the United States but in the world,” said UIndy Spokesman Scott Hall.

The lab is buried in the basement of the Krannert Memorial Library. UIndy began partnering with the Law Enforcement and Emergency Services Video Association and built the lab in 2007.  FBI agents and police from around the world come to train at the facility.

“They learn how to take that raw digital imagery, whether it’s video or still photos that might contain some kind of evidence that would be useful in an investigation or in a trial, and they learn how to process that info electronically to bring out details in the images that might not otherwise be there,” said Hall.

The facility was put to use two years ago to analyze more than 1,600 hours of video shot from riots in Vancouver, Canada, after a hockey game.  According to Hall, the lab can take blurry, obscure video and enhance it to the point where even the smallest details can be seen with the human eye.

If need be, the facility is ready to be used again. The Boston Marathon path was lined with cameras that could hold important information about the bombs and suspects. However, it could be video shot by witnesses that provides vital clues.

“Police are recognizing that their best source of info is often the video that people  shoot just on an amateur basis with their phones, as well as the video they can get from survelliance cameras that are mounted all over modern cities now,” Hall said.