i-PRO integrates body-worn video cameras, in-vehicle cameras, evidence management systems and smart city surveillance edge devices and management platforms to boost situational awareness, investigative capabilities and evidence documentation for submission in court.
Law enforcement has broadened its investigative powers through technology to match the ever-growing sophistication of today’s criminals.
Departments couple innovative software and analytics tools with hardened mobile systems to perform productively. Officers collect volumes of voice, video and text data from varied sources such as body-worn cameras (BWCs), in-car vehicle systems, computer-aided dispatch (CAD), records management systems (RMS), social media and the community.
The digital world now provides law enforcement with powerful tools, but it also presents a conundrum — using data smartly requires that data to reside in a secure and central place.
Organizational computing and integration challenges can bar officers from using data effectively. Silos inside and outside the organization inhibit information sharing and advanced analysis, but when agencies bring data sources together, it becomes easier to structure, store, retrieve and analyze information.
Enter Panasonic i-PRO Sensing Solutions Corporation of America. This independent company offers comprehensive video capture and evidence management solutions to law enforcement and for wide-scale city surveillance. The solutions’ integrated approach enables officers to capture and document evidence accurately to better protect the public and police from safety and liability concerns.
Bill Brennan, i-PRO President, explains, “Our unique solution enhances law enforcement agencies’ ability to record and document incidents while increasing situational awareness over large geographic areas.”
Manage Volumes of Video
Video is the greatest example of what’s possible with i-PRO.
Once, agencies rarely deployed video systems. Today, they are considered indispensable. Agencies use BWCs and in-vehicle camera systems to paint powerful pictures of events. In-car video captures the big picture, while BWCs record the officer’s point of view in police-citizen interactions.
It has become critical to verify that officers took appropriate actions at calls. But as video use grows, the data the systems generate magnifies.
“This increases the needed bandwidth, storage space, and the time to tag and catalog videos and locate them easily for use in arrests and trials,” Brennan says. “It also places a burden on already overtaxed agencies, as thousands of Freedom of Information Act requests require officers to redact bystanders’ faces before providing video to fulfill requests.”
i-PRO provides law enforcement agencies with tools designed to efficiently capture and manage video and digital evidence. The company offers a unified security, public safety, operations and business intelligence solution that seamlessly integrates with BWCs and in-car video systems.
Preserve the Data
Though video evidence and other digital sources differ vastly from the physical evidence police gather, agencies still must preserve the data.
They must authenticate video evidence and show it is reliable and accurate. Agencies must provide footage that accurately depicts events, prove that no one tampered with digital evidence and always maintain chain of custody.
Traditionally, agencies met these requirements by storing and managing video and other digital evidence on massive servers, but a better solution arises when agencies also store digital evidence in the cloud.
i-PRO’s BWCs and in-car video systems offer full compatibility with the CloUDE powered by the Genetec digital evidence management system. “Our solution provides agencies with the option of storing video evidence and data in the cloud versus on site,” Brennan says.
Leveraging both on-premises and cloud documentation technologies delivers unparalleled backup when a system goes down. “It ensures agencies have access to the evidence/data they need at any time, regardless of physical location, to sustain integrity and operational effectiveness,” Brennan says.
i-PRO’s CloUDE powered by Genetec provides distinct benefits:
- Centralized Storage and Management — Agencies can manage, review and securely store digital evidence from multiple sources within a single application while retaining full ownership of
evidence and metadata.
- Secure Transmission and Storage — The system employs advanced encryption technology to maintain chain of custody with audit trails that log user actions.
- Storage for Other Data Sources — Upload and secure video and data files from other public sources to centralize documentation from varied sources.
- Sharing Data — Agencies can share cases and digital evidence with other parties by controlling access through security policies managed in the application. Managers can review the audit trail to monitor who did what.
“Integrating BWCs, in-vehicle cameras, on-premises and cloud-hosted evidence management systems, and smart city surveillance systems ensures a secure chain of custody, eliminating the possibility of mishandled, tampered or lost evidence,” Brennan says.
Gain Cost Efficiency and Productivity
Integration across the entire video capture and management system provides easy implementation, use and management from the onset of deployment through system maintenance, upgrades and expansion. It also improves cost efficiency, which agencies sometimes see as a pain point for video.
The cost of maintaining video footage has caused some agencies to shy away from its use. In 2019, a police department in Wahoo, Nebraska, ended its BWC program after storage costs skyrocketed when the state mandated 90 days of storage. And, an Arlington, Virginia, agency forwent BWCs after a pilot project forecasted annual storage costs of $300,000.
i-PRO makes costs manageable and known. Costs to add i-PRO solutions vary by department and depend on the number of imaging devices deployed, selected evidence management systems, and desired storage capacity, according to Brennan.
He adds, “Every installation is different based on the size of the overall system and features enabled by the evidence management system deployed.”
i-PRO partners with a network of experienced systems integrators and value-added sellers to get agencies exactly what they need. The experts match capabilities, performance needs and cost to individual departments.
The result? A system that brings data sources together, where agencies can structure, store, retrieve and analyze data without chain-of-custody concerns.
Brennan concludes, “Integrating disparate BWCs, in-vehicle cameras, evidence management systems, and smart city surveillance edge devices and management platforms enhances law enforcement’s situational awareness, investigative capabilities and evidence documentation for submission in court.”