FOCUS Top 12 Buying Tips for In-Car Video

mat. Something that is a safe, secure standard among the industry and can be easily transferred between applications. Hearing poor audio and seeing poor video helps no one and actually creates more ambigu- ity and distrust. Using sub-standard equipment that provides poor quality evidence lends itself to questionable credibility and reliability in court. Security formatting of this video is

also extremely important. How about Encrypted video versus YouTube- ready consumer codecs? If your video format is an open standard, you are just asking for trouble. Any prosecutor or defense counsel with access can upload and edit a copy you don’t control. This is a late concern, but misleading edits anonymously released to the public undermine the entire justice system, let alone your agency. If you simply must use unprotected video codecs, take steps to carefully limit access. Does the image stabilization soft-

ware work well in a vehicle? What about good audio pickup? Will the of- fi cer’s and/or suspect’s voice audio be drowned out if a vehicle drives by on wet roads? Does the siren overwhelm the audio pickup and make it useless or is the microphone noise-cancelling and picks up voice audio over background noise?

Interoperability or Integration What if you already have a body-worn camera system? It may make sense to have the body-worn camera system and the in-car video system integrated. You may want to avoid software, hardware and training from three different ven- dors. A single point of contact at the vendor may reduce a lot of IT fi nger- pointing. You may be able to reduce complexity from various technologies with a holistic solution all on one plat- form that can be fully integrated.

Scalability & Automated Operation Your video evidence management solu- tion and investment should be able to grow as your video evidence require- ments also grow, allowing you to allocate servers to individual precincts to remove overloading of internal infrastructure. Confi guration of rules that automates

32 LAW and ORDER I April 2016

fi rmware updates should be able to push out remotely and updates provided back on the status of those updates. This again requires person-hours on your IT team’s managing devices instead of run- ning round looking for devices and vehicles; a few clicks and all is done.

The in-car camera system is a part of the overall vehicle upfit. Consider both storage and scalability.

the management of video evidence based on retention policies, storage allocation, and defi ned users or groups within your organization to access, copy or exporting videos for court. This will reduce costly person-hours within your organization of having to manage each video manually. Be prepared before the hardware hits the road as opposed to scrambling later to work things out or hastily create policy.

User Friendly Law enforcement offi cers did not join the department to become video technicians. If a camera is added to the offi cer, whether it be in-car video or body-worn camera, they should work seamlessly to the offi cer in the actions he carries throughout the day. How- ever, some training would be required along with an understanding of departmental poli- cies. That said, the camera should be simple to operate in the fi eld by activating a trigger like ‘emergency equipment’ and as easy to shut down at the end of the shift by power- ing down the vehicle and walking away. The same theory goes for your IT team

while managing all in-car video and body- worn cameras within your infrastructure. All confi guration changes, software, and

Live Streaming Can your proposed solution do live streaming? If a situation arises that you need ‘eyes on’ from your com- mand center, can your in-car video so- lution deliver? A critical part of video is the insurmountable information it delivers to a court of law removing the ‘he said, she said’ scenario. What if you could watch video evidence live from your command center or multiple command cen- ters, and actually initiate record- ing miles away from the incident? Live streaming is a powerful tool, allowing senior command offi cers to make informed decisions and direct their offi cers on the ground in real time.

Roadmap and the Future Picking a trusted vendor is a critical part of your investment in regards to not only local support but also understanding their roadmap. Understanding their vision of the future allows you to understand how the vendor’s roadmap tailors to your agency roadmap and what requirements you may need from your vendor. Remember you are not just picking a

vendor but a partner to help deliver your requirements today for a solution for the future. That needs to be a lasting partner- ship with a track-record proven vendor, and one that has the infrastructure and client base to be there in the future when you need them.

Sergeant Brad Brewer is a 27-year member of the Vancouver Police Department. He was an eight- year member of the Ford Police Advisory Board and regularly gives presentations at law enforcement conferences on mobile computing, wireless technology and police vehicle ergonomics. He can be reached at

LaO Post your comments on this story by visiting

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68