The extensive choice of cameras available on the market might make choosing the right one puzzling. The customer should first know what their necessities are. For example, how many recording hours do they need? How do they want to wear the camera (i.e., helmet or shoulder or chest only), do they need live streaming or recording only, a simple one-size-fits-all system versus a modular system that permits for customization (e.g., connect external cameras), security traits such as encryption or different authorization levels, what VMS system to use, etc.
Most of the cameras come with pre-event recording and begin recording after the user pushes a button. Other widespread features are tagging videos (to enable fast retrieval), facilitating watching of the video recording on other devices (e.g., police car, command center, tablet, etc.). Another offer is streaming video via 3G/4G to add to situational awareness at the command and control level. We believe the future in this industry is in a blend of recording and live streaming.
Since the body camera video recording can be used as proof during court trials, companies have to make sure that their products follow the different set of laws regarding maintaining the reliability of digital evidence. There are numerous common features to make sure data integrity. Different endorsement levels make sure that the police officer wearing the camera has no way of interfering with the video, deleting it, or changing it.
In Zepcam for instance, we have three authorization levels: user level (allows recording and live streaming only, but no file deletion or entrance to recorded files), superuser (which allows recording and live streaming, as well as the capability to delete files and access, recorded files), and administrator level, which affixes system administration privileges on top of the super-user level.
Reveal presents encryption of the videos as they are uploaded to the video management system. Files can be viewed only on authorized computers and only by users with a suitable password to unlock the encryption. The system keeps an inclusive audit log of every action and incident performed on files in the system from the point at which it was uploaded and during its lifetime. The audit log records the time/date of the act, the user who executed it, the computer where the act was performed, and the description of the act itself. An extra feature offers the capability to conceal files, which may be used when responsive material has been uploaded. Concealed files can only be viewed by user levels as defined by the administrator. This assists to further safeguard information even within the police department.
Video recording is frequently stored on the device and then uploaded from the docking station in the last part of the shift — the docking station also charges the camera for the next shift. For most manufacturer models, end users can opt between local storage and cloud storage. In spite of the accessibility of the option, our interviewees agreed that most law enforcement agencies are painful with storing their solution in the cloud. The majority of our clients use local storage overcloud. The advantage of cloud storage is that files are reachable from any location with the Internet; nonetheless, this can be viewed as a disadvantage by some insignificance of data security.
Some countries are not at ease with their data being held in off-shore data centers and have exact policies that do not allow this. There is a misapprehension that local storage can demand considerably more attention and preservation than cloud when producing large volumes of video data.
Vizucop’s Barnes added an extra concern: what happens to the data after the first contract ends? Let’s say you have a three-year contract and you manage to hit upon a cheaper supplier when it ends. Will agencies be able to move their stored information?
The sharp go up in interest in body cameras and the obtainable funds have brought lots of models to the market. Buyers should be aware and make sure they buy from highly regarded manufacturers that can offer proper support.
You need to behold the sturdiness of the camera, is the company well established or is it from someone who found a cheap source in a foreign country in which case there is no support. Customer service is huge in this industry, law enforcement agencies need fast answer times. So the cheap camera suppliers will be shaken out, the costs of after-sales service will remove the smaller players.
What should you near in mind when getting a Body-Worn Camera? Agencies should deem everything from the device to the mobile apps and the entire process from capture to court including recording the important footage, redacting receptive details like license plates and faces, sharing and managing the case, and presenting the video recording in court. We encourage clients to consider the quality of not only the body-worn camera itself but also of the proof management system that will house the data they collect.
Many emergency services are now on their third or fourth run of purchasing Body Worn Cameras. What should newcomers deem? We suggest that purchasers should ask themselves:
- Are the Body Worn Cameras fit for demand?
- How do we shift all the video recordings collected onto a storage system?
- How can we recharge these devices and is any maintenance required?
- How can we manage this data successfully: locally or on the cloud?
- How much does each solution rate and what are the pros and cons?
- How much does a Body-Worn Camera cost?
- What are the warranties related to malfunctions/breakages?
A shrewd approach to procurement is a least of three vendors pitching for your business, isolating the three main components of a Body-Worn Cameras solution: the camera device (quality of the footage, functionality, battery life, strength, warranty of replacements, charging) the storage solution (do you want local or cloud storage? How do you search for certain video recordings? How many people can reach the footage? Does it meet with judicial standards of evidence management? What is your exit plan if you want to change suppliers?) And then the nuts and bolts of pricing alternatives (is it purchased frank, or a monthly contract? Is the cost of the hardware included with the storage resolution?).
Zepcam’s van der Aa suggests use the cloud solution so you don’t have any problems establishing IT in your organization – and discover where the real advantages are in your organization. So, you should start developing a plan for scaling up.
You may also need to approach ahead, he suggests. Is your vendor display place future-proof? Can it hold up more cameras? Is it prepared for video redaction or analytics? Can it be put together into other systems? It’s important to have a platform that has elasticity, he points out.
And discover someone you can trust. Pinnacle’s Whitley notes: As Body Worn Cameras have become more broadly accepted, there’s a flood of cheaper products. When you behold a product with a push of specs, the reality is it will most likely not do that.
A few basic points you should keep in your mind, what are you trying to obtain with body-worn cameras? A lot of customers don’t deem that before going into the process. Talk to customers who use the product and don’t go into this blind.
What to think the main dos and don’ts of purchasing Body-worn Cameras.
- Do consider the total flow of the confirmation and data you’ll be collecting – you’ll need a system that can manage it and ensures that the chain of evidence is conserved.
- It can administer it and makes sure that the chain of evidence is preserved.
- Do consider Body Worn Cameras yet if you’re not in the public safety sector – if your employees frequently are in conditions where it is one person’s word against another’s, they can support cut legal bills and deter bad behavior.
- To accomplish a pilot study to get a feel for the advantages and the work required to roll out Body-Worn Cameras across your organization.
- Don’t forget to think of the future –consider how your requirements may change and whether the system you’re considering will be elastic enough to support them.
- Don’t sign on the dotted line without thinking whether or not you’ll be locked into an exact vendor.
At the end of our debate, we are giving a view from the Michael Barsky Acting Superintendent at Toronto Police. He suggests that in choosing a body-worn camera solution that is right for your surroundings, you must first deem what you are going to be using the device for. Once you have decided on the reason for the device in your environment, you need to meet with those officials in the area of human rights, privacy, and freedom of information, suitable unions, and prosecuting attorneys. These key players will inform your job, and guide you to the right solution, by providing imminent into their concerns and requirements.
Your team should then determine what obligatory requirements you believe you have for the technology, including camera, software, confession processes, and storage. Then, and only then, will you be properly placed to determine whether there is a valid solution for your needs, at an inexpensive cost.