Police Car Video Systems Will Help Texas Town Fight Crime
IBM reports that it will equip the cruiser fleet of the Tyler, Texas, Police Department with a digital video system that can allow officers to capture video of traffic stops and criminal activity in progress. The system is expected to help serve as a powerful weapon in the fight against crime and it could save the department about $50,000 each year in labor, management and supply costs, according to the police department.
Tyler also plans to add wireless capability to the system, enabling the transmission of live video images from the cruisers to the police department in near real time, according to Police Chief Gary Swindle.
Digital video is thought to be more effective than traditional police car video systems, which are based on analog (videotape) technology. Because analog systems must be activated manually by the police officer, they often fail to capture images of crimes in progress. By contrast, IBM’s “in-car” digital video system continuously records images and sound onto a 40 or 60 gigabyte hard drive.
When the officer turns on his overhead “pursuit” lights, the previous four minutes of video and audio are saved and recording continues until the officer turns off the system.
Installed in each of the department’s 60 cruisers, the IBM in car solution, using Coban Technologies’ Video Mobile Data Terminal (VMDT), will collect data via digital video cameras mounted in the cars as well as from audio microphones worn by the police officers.
The data will be fed to ruggedized computer hard drives in the vehicles. At the end of an officer’s shift, he or she will remove the hard drive, bring it into police headquarters, and upload any recorded images into a central data repository capable of storing 4.35 terabytes of data — the equivalent of nearly one million full-length novels.
IBM can also equip the system with wireless capability to permit near real-time transmission of video images and sound from the police cruisers to police headquarters, using wireless “hotspots.”
Creating a vital visual link between patrol officers and precinct personnel, wireless transmission can help protect the safety of officers and citizens as well as assist in the coordination of police efforts.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from Business Wire (04/20/04) .