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New body cameras embedded into police officers’ uniform offer automatic, policy-based recording functionality, helping police officers automatically capture, offload and view media evidence.

Manufactured by Utility Inc., the BodyWorn cameras have been recently purchased by police departments in Georgia, the USA as part of their ongoing effort to enhance transparency and accountability, and increase public trust.

BodyWorn is a smartphone embedded into the officer’s uniform. The camera can’t fall off, get snatched off the uniform, and remains stable if the officer starts running or gets into a struggle.

According to prnewswire.com, policy-based recording triggers ensure the camera complies with a police department’s specific recording and privacy policies. 4G-LTE and Wi-Fi connectivity ensures that the BodyWorn camera would immediately upload encrypted video from the scene to secure Amazon AWS cloud storage. If department policy allows, the police officer can view the video on the body camera screen immediately after recording. Video can also be live-streamed to Central Dispatch in a crisis situation.

One of the important features is the device’s ability to send Officer Down Emergency Alerts to notify central dispatch when an officer is down and not responding. The alert is also sent

automatically to all nearby officers, with turn-by-turn directions to the Down Officer’s location, so help can arrive quickly.

The cameras “will be a beneficial tool to protect our police force on the front lines and to respond to any citizen’s questions about an officer’s actions,” said Georgia Fulton County Chairman John Eaves. “In addition, the cameras are able to archive video data and are a useful, cost-effective tool to help police in their investigations. Clearly, this technology will enhance the accountability and transparency of our already top-notch police department.”

The Fulton County Police Department also purchased 60 in-vehicle dashboard cameras and IoT devices, turning each patrol car into a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot. Police officers will also have video from the patrol car point of view, the back seat during prisoner transport, and real-time broadband data access in and around the patrol car.

Robert McKeeman, CEO of Utility, says: “Studies have shown that manually-operated body cameras were not turned on up to 87% of the time policy says they should be. It is not realistic or safe to expect police officers in a tense situation to also have to remember to find and double-press a body camera start button. Community trust and police transparency are damaged if an officer has a body camera, but no video is recorded. BodyWorn provides automatic recording triggers that can be customized to meet any department’s specific recording and privacy policy decisions.”

The camera provides real-time connectivity to central dispatch.  Alerts with pictures and text can be pushed out immediately to selected or all police officers.  

The Fulton County Police Department will also be equipped with the company’s new feature, Smart Scene 360. This capability, which comes standard on each BodyWorn camera at no additional cost and requires no new hardware, uses 360-degree imaging technology to create a digital model of a crime scene. The new technology enables law enforcement officials, district attorneys, and courts to view crime scenes in 3D virtual reality long after an incident occurs.