U.S. Customs and Border Protection Tests Body-Worn Cameras
Last month, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) began the second phase of a study testing body-worn cameras among its agents in land, air and maritime environments. The group is evaluating the feasibility of rolling-out a solution to its force to promote greater transparency and accountability and to strengthen its relationship with the public.
Body-worn cameras have been deployed by police departments across the country, but this move by CBP shows the true value these solutions have toward public safety beyond just traditional law enforcement. Although adoption has been strongest in local police departments, body-worn cameras can also be utilized by correctional officers, sheriff’s deputies, and others in public safety including CBP agents. With the right technology, these solutions can be easily and effectively utilized in a range of settings.
Some of the biggest benefits of body-worn solutions include:
- Indisputable, courtroom-ready evidence that captures all interactions during an event. Body-worn cameras can capture evidence that might be missed by a building security camera or in-car video system.
- Streamlined adjudication. High-quality video evidence minimizes the amount of time spent in court and reduces the burden on prosecutors.
- A way to strengthen community relations. Transparency helps to build the public’s trust, and provides an extra sense of security to all parties involved knowing that all interactions will be captured.
- A new tool to enhance training by providing scenario-based training through real video evidence.
These are just a few of the benefits CBP will be considering during its study. But the agency will need to evaluate practical considerations around the deployment of body-worn cameras, as well.
CBP will need to consider a fully integrated solution that accommodates their specific needs while providing the video quality and hardware durability they require on the job. The agency will also need to determine how it will manage the tremendous amount of video data that body-worn cameras create, and keep it secure while also making it accessible when it is needed. Equally important will be integrating body-worn video evidence management into existing systems the agency may have for managing video from surveillance cameras, in-car video systems, or other sources. These are critical factors that must be considered in order for CBP to get the best return on its investment.
It will be interesting to see how the rest of the study proceeds and how a possible implementation of this technology could forever change the way the CBP operates.
To learn more about Panasonic’s mobile video evidence collection solutions, visit http://www.panasonic.com/business/arbitrator/index.asp.
*Photos courtesy of U.S. Customs and Border Protection