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A new version of a law enforcement body camera will provide police officers with a better way to capture unbiased, tamper-proof video in nearly any condition. In response to requests from law enforcement users of the Arbitrator Body Worn Camera (BWC), Panasonic has re-engineered the system and tweaked its evidence management software.
The new version features extended battery life, increased durability, and enhanced compatibility with other evidence capture systems such as in-car video and surveillance cameras.
Greg Peratt, Panasonic’s director of evidence management, says the company identified three aspects of the Arbitrator BWC that it wanted to improve in its third-generation (Mark III) version of the BWC.
To solve the battery problem, the company engineers designed the highest capacity battery in the smallest compartment possible. In addition, the electronics inside the BWC were re-engineered to minimize power drain.
According to policemag.com, the combination of the new battery and the re-engineered electronics gives the new Mark III system a battery life of 12 hours or more in standard configuration, which includes pre-event recording and Bluetooth triggering.
The new version can be set-up to automatically begin recording when the lightbar on the wearer’s vehicle is activated when the wearer’s vehicle experiences a certain amount of G-force, when the vehicle’s weapons lock is released, and under other conditions.
Peratt says customers also want more rugged body cameras. “The problem is that if the camera breaks on duty it will probably break in a situation, and then you don’t have video of the incident. Trying to explain that to the public can cause or increase controversy,” he explains.
The new rugged Arbitrator BWC Mark III body cameras rated IP67, which means it is dust tight and can be immersed in up to 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes. In addition, the new body camera is MIL-STD-810G compliant, which means it can survive extremes of heat and cold and has passed the six-foot drop test.
The final major customer request that the BWC Mark III needed to meet, according to Peratt, was to make the Unified Evidence Management Software more compatible with other Panasonic surveillance tools. It was already compatible, he says, “but it wasn’t as seamless as we wanted it to be.” The software is now easier to use, and the process of combining evidence from Panasonic body-worn cameras, surveillance systems, and in-car cameras in the same file is now streamlined.
The camera is compatible with in-car video systems, has built-in GPS, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and it features adjustable LED brightness information panel.