Whether it is a 911 call, interrogation of a suspect or dictation of a routine traffic stop, accurate transcription of spoken language into written documentation is a key component of the law-enforcement and justice systems. It also is the specialty of Arizona-based Net Transcripts.

Net Transcripts was founded in 1988, when the company started transcribing quarterly conference calls for companies that would be used by investors and analysts, according to Net Transcripts CEO Gary Nudd. In 2003, the company began offering transcription services for law-enforcement entities, which became the company’s target market.

“All of our focus, marketing and expertise are in law enforcement now,” Nudd said during an interview with IWCE’s Urgent Communications. “We do everything. Anything that’s been recorded, we can transcribe, whether it be a jail call or interviews, on site or an interrogation room specifically designed for that.

“We do dictated report narratives by investigative officers who have found that, rather than spend 40% of their time typing, it’s better to either dictate those summaries—or the actual report itself—and give it to us to transcribe for them. And, we do daily patrol reports.”

These transcriptions can become key pieces of evidence in criminal cases, and Net Transcripts has established processes to meet legal standards for evidence, Nudd said.

“We obviously can’t guarantee whether the file was altered or tampered with before it got to us” he said. “But, after we receive it, we guarantee chain of custody and tracking of that chain of custody.”

This accountability is one reason why more than half of the district attorneys in the state of California utilize Net Transcripts, which runs a “scalable operation,” Nudd said. However, the transcriptions are done by humans, not voice-recognition software, he said.

“We don’t use voice recognition,” Nudd said. “We’ve tested voice recognition on the front end and the back end, as have some of our customers for dictation. And for every five law-enforcement agencies that have seriously tested it, four have abandoned it.

“Eventually, that will get there, I predict, in narratives. But, at this time, our experience is that it’s not all that it’s cracked up to be. It is getting better, though.”

A dictated narrative from a single officer is the simpler type of transcription, and Net Transcript charges just 1.25 cents per word to process such audio, Nudd said. Much more difficult is a multi-speaker audio, particularly when the speakers talk simultaneously. As a result, Net Transcripts charges $2.10 for each minute of audio in a multi-speaker scenario, he said.