21st Century Technologies In Law Enforcement Incident Recording
It is customary to think of an in-car video/audio incident-and-evidence recording system as a tool. Unfortunately, this definition is not only misleading but may contribute to less-than-optimal decision-making on the part of departments considering deploying new or upgraded mobile-surveillance technology.
The fact is that these systems are not tools, they are weapons. And like any weapon, whether a radar gun or a Breathalyzer, the system is subject to being rendered obsolete – or at least made significantly less effective – by enemy countermeasures.
Just as there is an entire industry devoted to defeating each generation of radar and laser speed-detection devices, there is a dedicated and effective army – criminal defense attorneys and their technology experts – ready to pounce on any new evidence-recording system, deconstruct it, and devise lines of argument to morph what seems incontrovertibly clear into something murky and suspect.
The challenges to manufacturers of incident-and evidence recording systems are myriad.
They must engineer and build front- and back-end systems capable of gathering and storing data able to withstand the most rigorous of procedural and scientific attacks on its integrity.
Images and sounds captured by these systems must have sufficient resolution to remain viable even when blown up or otherwise enhanced for forensic purposes, and must be sufficiently clear and coherent in their original form to be accepted “beyond a reasonable doubt” by judges and juries.
Data files collected by these systems should reveal more than just words and pictures. Time-and-motion lines indicating when events such as siren activation or shotgun removal took place must be as precise as electronically possible and irrevocably embedded into the audio/video data. Ideally, such systems would also allow officers to contemporaneously append meta-search accessible comments and observations into the data files while “instantly” replaying them in their patrol car.
Given the implementation of appropriate communications networks, they should allow real-time viewing and remote camera control from headquarters’ workstations.
Most of all, today’s in-car incident-and-evidence recording systems must be able to continuously perform the above tasks while simultaneously enduring the pounding inherent in round-the-clock, real-world police work.
Like the men and women who use them, mobile video systems intended for use in law enforcement are a special breed. Evolved from consumer-grade analog VCRs and “home-video” quality fixed-mount cameras “hidden” in light bars, new-generation purpose-built-for-law-enforcement systems like the Panasonic Toughbook Arbitrator are rapidly becoming indispensable. Reliable and unobtrusive, they are invaluable companions to patrol officers in police departments large and small, metropolitan and rural.
Enabled with the right technology, engineered and built by dedicated specialists with a heritage of producing rugged, state-of-the-art, cost-effective electronic solutions for law enforcement, these systems offer invaluable aid in both effectively prosecuting criminals and clearing police officers falsely accused of misconduct.
In this White Paper, we will examine the key elements of mobile-surveillance systems – storage media and formats, durability, tamper-resistance, camera/microphone capability, event triggers, and search-and-retrieval capability. Our purpose will be to define and assess the key requirements of incident-and-evidence recording devices and identify which of the competing technologies are best suited for empowering a system optimized for today’s fast-paced and litigious society.
From Analog To Digital To Advanced Digital
To comprehend the difference between analog and digital data one need only consider the human model. Video and audio are input as continuous waves by analog organs – the eyes and ears – converted into electrical impulses, transported to the brain, and there decoded into sights and sounds.
The hand can be considered a digital organ. Each nerve ending sends a discontinuous bit of information to the brain, which analyzes it, combines it with the information from adjacent nerve endings, extrapolates the data missing from between the nerve endings, and delivers it up us as a feeling. In this example, the hand digitalizes what it touches and the brain functions as a biological digital-to-analog (DAC) converter.
When a signal from a camera or microphone is recorded in a digital form, continuous light and sound waves are transformed into a series of digits – ones and zeros – and stored. Upon playback, the digits are rendered back into the analog domain by a DAC.
Analog systems for in-car law-enforcement use were, and for the most part still are, based upon the consumer VHS VCR standard of 30 frame-per-second (fps) motion and roughly 240 lines of horizontal resolution. This resolution is adequate for proper analysis of mid- to large-sized subjects at a one-to-one ratio, but enlarging the image even slightly results in serious deterioration and small objects tend to be indistinct even when not enlarged.
Though newer analog recording formats – such as S-VHS and Hi8 – offer improved resolution, they do nothing to alleviate the other problems inherent in analog recording – huge files that devour storage devices, take an eternity to transfer, produce degraded copies, and make it difficult and time-consuming to access specific bits of information.
Analog technology is more or less good enough for the low-resolution, two-channel stereo world of consumer videotaping, but far from adequate for the higher video- and audio-resolution requirements of DVDs. For DVDs, video/audio files needed to be compressed to a size consistent with storing high-resolution, multi-hour programs on a single audio CD-sized disc. The compression formula eventually used – MPEG-2 – was developed by the Moving Picture Experts Group.
MPEG-2, which has been adopted by the majority of vendors promoting digital in-vehicle incident-and-evidence recording systems, is a quantum improvement over analog. Data in MPEG-2 files can be easily found and retrieved by time, date, embedded metatags and bookmarks. MPEG-2 files are much more amenable to copying and forensic analysis and considerably smaller than analog files converted to uncompressed video for electronic storage.
Unfortunately, “considerably smaller” is still huge. A one-hour MPEG-2 file created at a resolution consistent with law-enforcement evidentiary imperatives occupies over 3GB of storage space and is impossible to efficiently distribute over existing or projected next-generation wireless networks. MPEG-2 files also force even medium-sized police departments desiring to keep incident footage “online” for more than two or three months to think of server capacity in terms of hundreds, rather than dozens, of terabytes.
Better in every way is the newer MPEG-4 compression standard used in the Toughbook Arbitrator. MPEG-4 files are not only approximately four times smaller than MPEG-2 files of comparable resolution, they produce clearer, more-detailed images and can be copied without any generational quality loss.
MPEG-4 is rapidly becoming the standard format for streaming media and has been adopted by such industry heavyweights as Dolby Labs, Apple Computer, XM Radio, Cisco, Sun Microsystems, Real Networks, Lucent Technologies, and Intel.
Both MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 are “lossy” formats, which means that some information in the original data is discarded during the compression process. Proponents of analog recording frequently contend that “losing” data bits is synonymous with “losing” visible or audible parts of the information. It is not.
To simplify a highly complex process, the mathematical equations that drive MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 analyze the raw audio and video information and store only those bits that change from frame to frame. In analog files, as on movie film, everything in the scene is recorded in every frame. With MPEG compression, only moving objects are recorded. Static objects like the hood of a patrol car or a billboard in the background are carried over from frame to frame.
There is much more to the compression process, of course. Some parts of the color spectrum invisible to humans are not stored, and predictive-motion analysis may be employed to anticipate where a traveling object will be from one frame to the next. The important consideration for law enforcement is this: MPEG compression neither adds nor deletes an iota of action from a recording. This fact – and it is a fact – is scientifically demonstrable and provable in court.
That MPEG-4 files are generally of higher visual quality than MPEG-2 files four times as large is due to a basic difference in the way the two compression schemes “see” images; MPEG-2 encodes information in each frame as a single unit, MPEG-4 encodes each object within a frame individually.
Solid-State Storage Superiority
Though magnetic tape is commonly thought of as an “analog” storage medium and hard drives and solid-state storage devices as “digital” mediums, these definitions are not relevant to the choice of data-collection device. Analog data – most commonly music and video – may be easily and seamlessly converted to digital form and stored on hard drives and flash memory cards while, until recently, magnetic tape was the most common medium for backing up digital information on computer and system-server hard drives.
Even today, some manufacturers of mobile digital-video systems are keeping both feet firmly planted in archaic technology by converting their VHS or Video 8 systems from analog to digital.
Storing information on videotape in digital rather than analog form does somewhat improve image resolution and extend the extremely limited recording time available on tape cassettes, but it does nothing to alleviate the inherent design flaws that make VCRs unsuitable for use where reliability, flexibility, and legal defensibility are major considerations.
Made of ultra-thin plastic or metallic film, usually Mylar, videotape is subject to stretching, breaking, and getting jammed. It is easily twisted and torn by the rollers and pulleys required to bring it into contact with the rotating drum containing the recording, playback, and erase heads.
The mechanical processes inherent in extracting a section of tape from the cassette shell and readying it to be recorded also preclude instantaneous activation – a key requirement for law-enforcement work – and pre-event recording.
Locating and accessing specific information on a recorded tape is time-consuming and frequently frustrating. Even when search “cues” have been embedded into the digital data, the tape must be mechanically fast-forwarded or rewound over the playback heads while hunting the cues. And while fast-forward and rewind speeds have risen substantially since the development of this 30-year-old technology they are still inhibited by the highly limited tensile strength of the tape itself.
Finally, videotapes are subject to degradation by the passage of time and to erasure by exposure to magnetic fields. They cannot be downloaded into network servers at high speeds, and are subject to tampering challenges based on the ease with which they can be edited and manipulated.
Surprisingly, computer hard drives – the most common storage medium used by mobile video system makers – have been in existence even longer than videocassettes. Developed 50 years ago, they have evolved considerably since their appearance as 20-inch magnetic platters holding only a few megabytes of data.
That said, the reliability problems inherent in many hybrid electronic devices designed in the mechanical age still plague hard drives and they remain the most frequent hardware-related cause of computer crashes.
To understand why hard drives are not well suited for use in “perpetual-motion” environments such as in-car video recording, it is useful to briefly examine their construction.
Multiple magnetic platters in current high-performance, large-capacity hard drives continuously spin at rates of almost 200 miles per hour. Read/write heads mounted on an actuator arm constantly “float” back and forth over the spinning platters looking for sectors and tracks to add data to or extract it from. Typically, this seek-and-find operation requires the actuator arm to move from the center to the edge of the whirling platters 50 to several hundred times a second.
In most applications, the wear, tear, and heat generated by such unremitting motion is mitigated by the fact that hard drives actually read and write data rather infrequently. In the vast majority of computing processes, once an application is opened and a file loaded the hard drive heads are “parked” until either the RAM buffer is filled and information has to be exchanged with a page (swap) file, or the file is saved.
Hard drive requirements for a state-of-the art in-car recording system are dramatically different. In addition to maintaining a record of what happens after the system is “triggered,” it is highly desirable to have a recording of what occurred immediately before trigger activation. Since it is impossible for the system or an officer to anticipate when it will need to be activated, the only practical method of providing pre-incident recording is by constantly recording data for a given length of time and erasing it if there is no system activation within that period. In practice, this means that the platters, arms, and recording/playback/erase heads in the system’s hard drive are in constant, full-speed motion every second the patrol car is in service.
Among other problems, this constant action severely compromises hard drives’ projected service lives, which are usually expressed by their manufacturers in Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) hours and based on formulas which presume the arm and heads will be parked for the vast majority of those hours.
In contrast, the advanced, solid-state storage technology utilized in the Toughbook Arbitrator evidences one reason why videotape and hard-drive-based video incident-recording systems are the wave of the past. Even though the proprietary P2 Card contains no moving parts, the Arbitrator does not write and erase pre-incidence data directly to the Card. On the contrary, a user-determined amount of pre-incident data (up to 180 seconds) is stored in flash memory within the system and only written – instantaneously – to the Card if and when one of the Arbitrator’s eight fully-configurable triggers is activated.
By not constantly writing and erasing extraneous data from the P2 Card, the card’s ability to be completely erased and re-written more than 100,000 times without any diminution in quality is totally unaffected by the collection of pre-incident data.
Like most mechanical devices dependent on large numbers of rapidly moving, precisely balanced miniaturized parts, hard drives are inherently fragile and subject to failure caused by vibration, shock, or dust intrusion via a pressure-vent hole. Once removed from a recording device for storage or other purposes, hard drives are unlikely to survive even a three- or four-foot drop to a rigid surface.
A solid-state P2 Card, on the other hand, is virtually unaffected by vibration or jolts while in use and can withstand impacts of up to 1500Gs when out of the Arbitrator recorder. By contrast, tests at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway show that a race car hitting a concrete wall at 200 miles an hour rarely generates more than 100Gs of impact force.
(In passing, it should be noted that Direct-to-DVD in-car data storage units currently being introduced by some vendors also rely on a spinning platter and moving “writer” – in this case a laser rather than a magnetic head – and are even more mechanically fragile than hard drives. While DVD discs themselves, if properly secured in a storage case, are not as subject to shock or vibration destruction as hard drives, they can easily be rendered unplayable by surface scratches, gouges, and cracks.)
Maximum durability is just one of many reasons P2 Cards are the storage technology of choice for in-car law-enforcement video systems.
As 100 percent solid-state devices in which information is written by electrical impulses rather than magnetic charges, they are impervious to damage from magnetic fields, usable and storable even under extreme temperature conditions (-4◦ to 140◦ F in use, -40◦ to 176◦ F storage) and can be safely removed and reinserted into a recording unit up to 30,000 times.
Whereas other storage devices used in mobile video systems are nearing the end of their development cycle, P2 Card technology is evolving rapidly. Today’s 4GB P2 Cards store up to 16 hours of MPEG-4 video-audio; 8GB and 16GB Cards scheduled for release within the next two years will double and quadruple that capacity. Current P2 Cards transfer data at 340 Mb/s; next generation transfer rates will be up to 640 Mb/s.
The elimination of moving parts and the P2 Card’s standard Type 2 PCMICA form factor enabled engineers to design the Arbitrator P2 Video-Audio Processor Unit to meet MIL-STD 810F standards for durability without the need for bulky encasements or blimp-type enclosures.
Clad in a cast-magnesium case, the recording/playback unit weighs 2.5 pounds, measures just 7.0 x 2.0 x 6.1” (LWH) and can be easily trunk- or console-mounted without relocating other vital equipment or modifying the patrol unit.
P2 Cards are also the most lawyer-proof form of evidence-storage device for in-car use yet devised.
Removable from the Video-Audio Processor Unit only by authorized personnel, the Cards cannot be played, accessed, decoded or written to using standard computers. In fact, a P2 Card cannot be accessed on any device – including Arbitrator Processor Units – except the one it was recorded on unless a unique authentication key generated specifically for that particular Card is used. Finally, a complete, non-editable log of all successful and unsuccessful attempts to access the Card is automatically generated.
In court, a department’s IT professional can definitively show that the images, sounds, geographic (GPS) positioning data, officer comments, equipment status (speedometer, radar readings, lights, siren, shotgun in or out of mount, etc.) and other data stored on the original P2 Card was not in any way altered post-recording.
Bottomline: The P2 Card makes it empirically possible to prove that not one signal pixel, word, or gesture has been added, removed, or changed after the fact.
With a data transfer rate up to ten times that of hard drives, the P2 Card makes substantially less demand on over-worked servers and its diminutive size and robustness makes warehousing many year’s worth of original files far more space efficient and environmentally less critical than storing video tapes or hard drives.
Low Light + Custom Camera = Viable Action
It all begins with light. That is fundamental. Humans cannot see without at least a flicker of light, neither can cameras. In order for a person to visually process a scene, or a camera to record one, there must be enough ambient light to create an image on the eye’s retina or the camera’s recording medium. If not, additional light must be provided.
In evaluating incident-and-surveillance system cameras, the key question is “How much light is required for it to return forensically viable images … images sufficiently bright and noise-free to depict people, actions, and objects well enough to be useful to investigators and admissible in court?”
Because most vendors of video systems for law enforcement do not design or manufacture their own cameras, they have been forced to adapt third-party, general-purpose closed-circuit cameras for in-car use. Invariably, these adaptations are limited purely to mounting and wiring changes and in no way enhance the camera’s performance or optimize it for use in mobile incident-and-evidence recording systems.
This unfortunately results in cameras with limited low-light capability (usually 1.0 lux, which is typical for home-video camcorders), moderate zoom ratio (less than 50-1 in some cases), limited wide-angle capability (47 degrees on average), and sub-MilSpec ruggedization engineering.
While these cameras are certainly adequate under ideal and even somewhat challenging lighting conditions, they are not equal to the task of providing acceptable images in overall dark situations or those where one subject may be relatively well-lit – by a patrol car spotlight, for example – while others are in deep shadows.
Also, the minimum focal length of most off-the-shelf cameras gives a field of view too narrow to cover everything that may be happening immediately in front of a patrol car. Likewise, their limited zoom range is inadequate to sufficiently magnify a small object such as a license plate from several car lengths behind a fast-moving vehicle.
Many of these cameras are also deficient in other key performance categories impacting directly upon in-car law-enforcement service: Panning ability, auto/manual control options, mount stability, and unobtrusiveness.
Like all components in the Arbitrator system, the Arbitrator Digital Camera (ADC) has been purpose-designed and built by Panasonic specifically for in-car law enforcement use.
Though Panasonic is a major producer of video cameras for home and general business applications, and one of the world’s top manufacturers of broadcast-quality video systems for television networks and other video-news providers, the company quickly recognized that nothing in its existing inventory met the unique requirements of mobile police use.
In designing the new camera from the ground up, engineers focused solely on producing a state-of-the-art unit for the Arbitrator system. From the officer-in-the-field prospective, this means the Arbitrator Digital Camera is free of any design compromises that might have been necessary if it were intended to be a multi-market piece of hardware.
With a built-in IR circuit, the MilSpec-designed, magnesium-cased ADC has a minimum acceptable light sensitivity of .04 lux. Put another way, the camera can produce a viewable image in as little as four one-hundredths of one footcandle – virtually total darkness.
Other ADC features important for law-enforcement work include backlight compensation, built-in reflection reduction to reduce glare from the car’s windshield and hood, and a lightweight (under one pound), slim 5.3 x 2.9 x 3.0” (LWH) form factor for minimal interference with officers’ view through the windshield.
The ADC’s 68.4-degree wide-angle capability provides a 27-foot-wide field of view at a distance of 20 feet – more than 20 percent wider than possible with typical off-the-shelf cameras. The camera’s 220X zoom magnification is also substantially greater than that of most of its competitors and all of its key controls can be accessed from the camera or an in-car Toughbook computer showing a real-time view of what the camera is recording with an over-laid control set.
In areas where suitable wireless networks are in place, the camera can also be remotely zoomed, panned, and adjusted from a central location – a significant factor in jurisdictions where officers patrol singly rather than in pairs.
The ADC’s ruggedized, high-stability mount can be installed using the vehicle’s standard sunvisor attachment holes, empowers full 360-degree camera panning, and incorporates proprietary heat-dissipation technology to enhance camera cooling, performance, and service life.
In many law-enforcement situations, an unimpeachable record of what was said can be as – or more – crucial than a similar record of what was done. Providing proof that a suspect has been properly Mirandaized is but one example of the invaluable nature of bulletproof sound bites.
Some vendors, anxious to amass marketing bonus points even if it means sacrificing performance, have rushed to adopt digital technology for the wireless transmission of audio from an officer-worn body-microphone to their recording consoles.
Unfortunately for their customers, digital audio is an all-or-nothing proposition. If the officer wearing the digital transmitter moves just a bit out of maximum range, if some obstacle or electrical noise interferes with the transmission, the audio will be completely lost … what will be left on the recording will be either dead air or static. No conversation will have been recorded.
Under the same conditions, an analog wireless signal will normally get weaker or noisier long before it cuts out altogether. The bottomline result will be a viable recorded conversation that can be rendered acceptable by turning up the playback volume in some cases and/or processing the file with a forensic sound-editing software application in others.
Ideally, a wireless microphone suitable for use with an in-car video-audio recording system should have an analog operating range of at least an eighth of a mile, the ability to automatically scan for the best communication channel from an extended number of options, and battery runtime in excess of a standard working shift.
Currently, only the Arbitrator Audio System with its 1,000 foot wireless range, 10-hour rechargeable battery and up to 1,000 UHF (600-700Mhz) channels meets all these specifications along with such other necessary features as multi-camera and multi-microphone capability.
Today’s Technology For A Wireless Tomorrow
To deny the value and viability of wireless transmission-and-filing of data from in-car recording systems today is equivalent to stating that equipping patrol cars with two-way radios had little benefit to officers 70 years ago.
The evidence pointing to a near-term future in which wireless networks become the de facto standard in public-service communications is overwhelming. Adopting in-car surveillance and recording technology that cannot be seamlessly integrated into already existing wireless networks and easily ported to the more robust networks of tomorrow would be short-sighted in the extreme.
To fully appreciate why it is literally impossible to consider an in-car video-audio recording system state-of-the-art unless it has the capacity to wirelessly transfer its contents to a network server, one must briefly examine the more traditional alternatives to wireless transmission.
The most common method is via a standard wired LAN connection. This is accomplished by either removing the storage device from the vehicle, carrying it into a station house, connecting it to a terminal and downloading the files, or by plugging the storage unit into a LAN “umbilical” cord stretching from the server to the station house parking lot.
In either case, the patrol unit has to be parked and out of service while the data is being transferred. And in cases where the recording device itself – a videotape, a hard-drive module, or a PC holding the data – has to be removed from the car and transported independently, the potential for problems caused by physical damage to the original data source or legal challenges to the evidence-possession chain increase exponentially.
Using wireless transfers, patrol cars enter a wireless access point (hot spot) and recorded data is transferred without the storage media being removed from the car and without the unit being hung up in “traffic” waiting for a free umbilical cord.
Detractors of wireless uploads frequently argue that units must return to an area adjacent to a station house to establish an 802.11 connection and upload files.
This argument is rapidly becoming as stale as the debate over the validity of analog files versus digital files. The fact is, public service mobile networks with wireless “hot spots” strategically located throughout a community are becoming more common every month and, due to Federal mandates if for no other reason, will be truly ubiquitous within several years.
In reality, Homeland Security requirements for local government agencies to a do a better job of sharing their information in real-time, the high cost of creating new extended-range wired networks, and the increasing need to pro-actively prevent incidents by monitoring potential trouble spots are all powerful forces driving the move to wireless.
Other arguments against wireless video-audio data transfer focus on the alleged high bandwidth requirements and slow-transfer rate of wireless video. Not surprisingly, these arguments are usually put forward by proponents of incident-recording systems dependent on legacy file-storage technologies.
With its MPEG-4 files stored on P2 Cards, the Toughbook Arbitrator can transfer eight hours of high-quality video in 15 minutes via a standard 802.11g wireless network. In other words, a 20-minute recording of a “client encounter” can be uploaded, cataloged and filed in a department’s back-end server in less than one minute by a patrol car driving through a wireless “hot spot.”
Though the officer may have to slow down considerably to avoid passing out of the access point’s range, the upload cannot only be made without the patrol car returning to base, it can be made without the unit missing a beat – or, more accurately, missing any time on its beat.
Because the Arbitrator’s wireless capability devolves from its tight integration with ruggedized Panasonic Toughbook notebook computers already in use by over 3,000 U.S. law-enforcement agencies, future developments in wireless networking will not require any replacement or upgrading of the Arbitrator Mobile Digital System hardware.
Though discussion of future developments in wireless technology is beyond the scope of this Paper, it is necessary to point out that cabled communications between mobile – and in many cases even fixed-location – computers and data-input devices will be rapidly becoming an anachronism by the end of this decade.
New standards now being implemented, such as 802.16 (WiMax) – which will provide secure, fully meshed high-speed wireless networks with an uninterrupted transmit/receive range of 30 or more miles – will empower systems like the Arbitrator to upload high-resolution, full-motion video-audio in near real-time even while engaged in a high-speed chase.
Further down the road, still-in-development systems like the Stratellite fixed-location, high-altitude, data-relay station promise to provide wireless “hot spots” accessible continuously for hundreds of miles.
In the future – near-term and long-term – wireless communication technology will continue to evolve as a faster, farther-reaching version of today’s already highly workable, field-proven and cost-effective over-the-air systems.
In-car video-audio incident-recording systems incompatible with current and future wireless technology are, while not quite equivalent to sending an officer on patrol with only a whistle instead of a radio, a throwback to a communications era that is rapidly ending. They are, quite simply, no longer the proper technology for the job.
Total Technology Greater Than Its Parts
Law enforcement incident-and-evidence recording systems are the sum of many interdependent parts, virtually all of them mission-critical. This interdependence is so intrinsic to effective operation that exemplary performance in one area cannot offset inadequate technology in another.
A great camera feeding a VHS recorder produces sub-standard video. A high-resolution recording system is less than useful without properly configured automated triggers to ensure that it activates when needed. Data files that are difficult to integrate into back-end servers are unacceptable even when produced by a good in-car recording device.
The actual recording of video-audio events from within a patrol car is just the beginning of an extended process that begins at the camera and microphone and ends in a courtroom or on an investigator’s workstation.
Before deploying any mobile video recording system, ten crucial questions must be asked and answered affirmatively:
1. Is the system’s camera and microphone effective even in unfavorable environmental conditions?
2. Is the recording module and medium hardened against shock, vibration, dirt and other hazards?
3. Can the system’s data integrity be validated in the courtroom?
4. Are the files optimally sized and securely tamper-resistant?
5. Can the files be rapidly and automatically integrated into the department’s database?
6. Can the system automatically access and append data from radar guns, GPS receivers, and similar sources?
7. Does the system have an adequate number of department-configurable activation triggers and can automatic controls be manually over-ridden when appropriate?
8. Is the system early-obsolescence proof?
9. Does the system tightly integrate with in-car computers and communications protocols?
10. Are the system’s components actually engineered and manufactured by the company whose name is on the label?
As part of the legendary Panasonic Toughbook family of in-vehicle law-enforcement products, the Arbitrator Mobile Digital Video System, with its advanced hardware technology and application software by industry-leader Insight Video, is the world’s first and only recording system to meet these ten essential requirements.