Help with Digital Evidence

The Dothan Police Department produces digital evidence for use in court cases and the purpose of this document is to assist attorneys and officers of the court in playing back digital evidence archives. Digital evidence is frequently provided on physical media due to limitations on submitting evidence for hearing in court.

Body and Dash Cameras

1. DVD Video Playback on Windows

These videos may be delivered on optical discs in two formats. If the disc is labeled as a “DVD Video” disc, then it should play in any standard DVD video player. DVD’s will not play in Windows or on a Macintosh PC without an optical disc drive and appropriate software to play the disc. The latest version of Windows Media Player should detect and play the disc.

2. DVD Video Playback on Mac OS

On Macintosh computers we have found the native DVD player app will sometimes throw a DVD Region code error when using an external DVD drive. This error is not indicative of a defective disc, but rather a defective drive. In this event, we recommend downloading and installing VLC and playing the disc using their DVD media player software.

3. DVD data on Windows or Mac

If the disc is labeled as a “DVD Data” disc or if the evidence was provided on a USB thumb drive, then the disc/device contains compressed files playable on a computer. This mode of delivery is often used to deliver multiple videos on one disc/device, saving resources and reducing time for production of the archive. These files may or may not play using built-in software on Windows or Mac PCs. We recommend the latest version of VLC, an open-source and cross-platform video player that comes with all the codecs needed to play our video archives.

If you have continued problems playing our digital evidence archives, please consult qualified technical support person for your personal computing platform. If you feel that the physical media is damaged or inoperative, please feel free to contact us. If your disc has a label bearing an MID number, please have that number handy when you contact us.

4. Direct Email Video Download

Links via email expire seven (7) days so please promptly complete your download. To complete your download, please following these steps. You will need to follow these steps for each video sent to you.

  1. Click the link in the email sent to you from Utility’s website (
  2. You will be prompted to enter the access code, which will be emailed to the address you submitted above.
  3. Once the code is entered a download link will be provided in your web browser.
  4. Right click the link and click Save As… from the context menu.
  5. Save the file on your computer. Remember where you saved it.
  6. Locate the downloaded file on your computer and double click the file.

If the file does not play back using your default video player, we have had success using VLC, which is a free cross-platform, open source video player.

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