Five Reasons Your Agency Needs Real-Time Communications in a Body Camera
Body cameras are on every police department’s budget this calendar year, and if they’re not, they will be soon enough. Having a sufficient Body Camera Program has become a necessary step towards positive community policing. Police departments want and need to promote accountability and transparency within their task force.
In the years past there were only a couple of vendor choices, but now there are many vendors within the industry. But are they really so different from one another? Sure most offer cloud storage, decent video quality and evidence review, but how many are more than just a camera? How many offer real-time communications? One. That’s right, just one.
It’s safe to say that real-time communications within a body camera can be a life-saving feature.
Here are five reasons your agency needs real-time communications in a police body camera:
1. Messages from Central Dispatch/Supervisors
On-duty police officers can receive important messages from their department. These are sent straight to their smart BodyWorn camera and can be used for a number of situations. These instant messages can alert officers that they are entering a specific Action Zone or that their device has been activated to start recording, and why.
These messages can also include images of evidence, mugshots or missing person alerts. Real-time information that can greatly improve community policing.
2. BOLO and Amber/Silver Alerts Sent Directly to the Device
Officers on their shift can receive a number of alerts sent to their BodyWorn device. Be on the Lookout alerts of dangerous people can not only protect the lives of citizens within the community, but the officers receiving these notifications as well. While Amber and Silver Alerts, can help the community and police officers find those that are missing and get them back to their family safely
3. Officer-Down Alerts
Perhaps one of the most important features in a body camera that has real-time communications is the Officer-Down Alert.
If an on-duty officer is injured or knocked to the ground, BodyWorn will start recording the incident after the allotted time period expires. BodyWorn will also alert the department that an officer is injured and needs assistance. The injured officer’s exact GPS coordinates will be up-to-date on the backend system for dispatchers to send recovery units.
4.Status Check Capabilities
Officers with real-time communications can have their body worn camera audibly tell them the status of their device. They will hear the battery level, storage capacity percentage, whether or not they are connected to Wi Fi and whether or not they are on duty.
This feature is helpful when an officer has some downtime during their shift and needs to charge up their camera or check that they have enough storage for collecting video evidence.
5. Voice Activation
If an officer finds themselves in a situation where they need their body camera activated, but are using their hands to hold a gun or make an arrest, they can easily activate the camera using audio commands.
An officer simply trains their device to learn their specific voice in order to command the camera to start recording.
There’s no reason an officer shouldn’t have these capabilities in his body worn camera when that technology is available to them at the same price or less than each and every police body camera on the market. Cameras with real-time communications foster a community that promotes accountability and transparency between officers and citizens.