Dos Palos PD's new solution from Kyocera and Visual Labs turns a smartphone into a body-worn camera and computer with real-time connectivity, while also serving as a digital recorder, audio recorder, telephone and GPS unit. Significantly less expensive than existing law-enforcement solutions using basic body cameras, Kyocera and Visual Labs' all-in-one solution also allows apps for scheduling, accessing departmental policies, and more.
The Dos Palos Police Department, located in Merced County, California, had an existing body-worn camera solution with which they were not satisfied. One major problem was the timeliness in the download and storage of their video footage on local servers. Because video was only downloaded upon return to the station, it was an after-the-fact solution and limited storage space caused technical difficulties. The Department needed a new system that was not only cost-effective, but also was reliable, durable and easy to use.
Many police departments throughout the United States are looking for similar body-worn camera solutions that will increase safety, efficiency, transparency and performance, while simultaneously reducing cost.
Kyocera Brigadier smartphone with Visual Labs software
Visual Labs Software
Visual Labs and Kyocera have worked together closely to provide body-worn camera solutions to law-enforcement agencies across the United States, turning Kyocera's rugged smartphones into body-worn computers. Born out of Stanford University, Visual Labs offers a powerful end-to-end software solution using the embedded camera of the smartphone. The solution also provides real-time positional awareness, video record and playback, geo-fencing capabilities, and a remote-activation feature that can be operated by command staff or authorized dispatchers.
Leveraging the high-speed 4G LTE wireless connections, out-of-the- box encryption and programmable key functionality of the Kyocera smartphones, video footage from the cameras is available immediately via automatic upload to the cloud, making the capacity to store videos, photos and other media in nite. Another key feature that differentiates the Visual Labs/Kyocera solution is the ability to provide real-time video feeds via cellular networks, which offers critical situational awareness and support to command staff in situations where a quick response is imperative, such as an active shooter or hostage situation. The system also provides advanced analytical capabilities.
Visual Labs and Kyocera partnered to create a body-worn camera/computer system using Kyocera Brigadier smartphones, Visual Labs' powerful software, secure data storage in the cloud using Amazon Web Services (AWS), and connectivity via Verizon's 4G LTE cellular network.
The fully ruggedized Kyocera Brigadier, an Android-based smartphone, was chosen due to its unmatched durability, programmable buttons, advanced features, long battery life and low cost. With their cellular connectivity, the mobile devices enable the Department not only to collect, aggregate and store video and other data in real time, but also to maintain positional awareness for its officers, access live feeds, and allow the Chief or other command staff to activate the cameras remotely, as permitted by Department policy.
The Department was initially hesitant about using cloud-based storage, but ultimately agreed it was the right choice for them. Although Amazon Web Services (AWS) provides greater than 99.9999 percent reliability for stored data, as an additional precaution, Visual Labs provides redundant storage of the Department's footage in both east coast and west coast AWS facilities in order to mitigate the effects of a natural disaster or other unforeseen circumstances. All videos are encrypted both in transit and at rest, providing an extra layer of security.
This solution is extremely cost-effective, especially when compared to traditional body-camera solutions. According to publicly available information, traditional body cameras cost between $400 and $1,200 each. By activating new lines of cellular service for its smartphones, the Dos Palos Police Department's upfront hardware expense for the Visual Labs/Kyocera solution was near zero. Annualized costs are also kept low because Visual Labs charges a flat monthly fee per device, which also includes secure cloud storage covering all the Department's normal usage. For the real-time mobile connectivity and transmission, cellular providers typically offer significantly discounted service plans to government customers. These range as low as $10 per month per phone, or as low as $25 per month with unlimited data. Moreover, Visual Labs does not charge any additional fees, such as for downloading footage or granting access to approved third parties such as the District Attorney's office.
Ultimately, Kyocera and Visual Labs were able to create a high-tech, state-of the-art body-camera program for the Dos Palos Police Department that improved safety and operations at a very affordable, fixed monthly fee. Kyocera and Visual Labs continue to provide a best-in-class solution for police departments all over the United States as they look to deploy body cameras that provide a combination of cutting-edge technology and reasonable pricing.
For more information on Visual Labs visit visuallabsinc.com.