Committed a crime? Your video could soon be uploaded to the cloud.

On Monday, Nov. 9, members of the Cooke County Commissioners' Court unanimously agreed to waive the 25% rule of purchase limitations to allow the Cooke County Sheriff's Office to pay for cloud installation and a management program for its WatchGuard camera systems for $29,300.

The camera systems include body cameras and in-car videos.

Izzy Valdovino, a regional sales manager with WatchGuard, told commissioners that when a video is uploaded to the cloud the company makes three additional mirrored copies “just to ensure the security of the video.”

The uploaded content is controlled by the CCSO, he said.

Alternatively, the county could've housed everything locally on a server. Officials agreed the more secure option would be to have the content stored in the cloud.

Currently, body camera software is stored locally, Cooke County Judge Jason Brinkley said.

“The ransomware attack was very much eye-opening as to how much more secure offsite storage and cloud storage is to having anything locally,” Brinkley said.

On July 4, a ransomware attack on the county’s information system for the CCSO resulted in the data breach of personal identification information, the Register previously reported. Much of the compromised data came from either CCSO reports or cases “going back several years,” Brinkley said.

The ransomware attack wasn't on the server with the stored videos, but on a “similar situated type server,” Brinkley said.

Cooke County Sheriff Terry Gilbert said the startup money would come from Chapter 59 funds.

The estimated annual maintenance fee of $20,000 could also come from those funds if the money is available, he said.

All monies obtained from seized items awarded to the sheriff’s office go into the Chapter 59 fund. According to the Texas Criminal Code of Procedure, Chapter 59 funds do have restrictions. However, the money may be used to purchase vehicles, firearms and protective body armor, to name a few.

Members of the court also approved a budget amendment for body camera software and installation Monday morning for $26,190. The items were approved during the Fiscal Year 2020 budget.

WatchGuard body cameras were purchased and received before the new budget year beginning Oct. 1, Gilbert said. However, because of the ransomware attack on the CCSO, the agency wasn't able to install the software so the cameras have yet to be put to use, he said.

The $26,190 was the remaining balance of the original purchase order and will be paid for using forfeiture money, Gilbert said.

All members of the court were present Monday.

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