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As body-worn cameras (BWC) become more and more prevalent in the public safety sector, there has been a steady migration of these devices to other environments in the municipal and commercial business world.
Municipal agencies are seeing body-worn devices work their way into fire departments, courthouses, and onto the uniforms of emergency medical technicians, while on the commercial side, BWC solutions have infiltrated manufacturing plants, retail stores, warehouse facilities, healthcare and school facilities. The technology has penetrated everything from private security officer companies to big-box retailers like Walmart, which issues proprietary body-worn cameras for its In-Home delivery service team, monitoring drivers accessing private homes of absent owners to deliver perishable groceries directly inside waiting refrigerators.
Unlike the consumer-glad recreation BWC technology, vendors like Axon, Axis Communications and Tyco Exacq have specialized in integrating advanced data management platforms that can aggregate video, image, audio and document data to streamline processes and provide a data dashboard that is housed in a single place.
Mobile and BWC video have been proving to be of value in areas like operations safety, customer service, personnel training, policy and procedure compliance, and security officer interactions and patrols.
Considering the proliferation of public/private partnership initiatives already in place securing cities that have been integrating corporate, commercial and public safety video surveillance feeds for close to two decades, it seems that the addition of private sector body-worn cameras was simply a natural progression.
They add an extra element that fixed cameras don’t provide. In particular, body-worn cameras provide strong de-escalation capabilities and fill in many of the blind spots in typical surveillance feeds. In the private sector, cameras have traditionally been used by the security arm of the business for surveillance and monitoring, but body cameras are adding new value to the operations side of the business to increase employee safety and compliance, improve training and help reduce liability, according to securityinfowatch.com.