Trenton police will pilot live streaming body cams

Photo by Sue Suchyta Director of Police and Fire Services Steven Voss announces the police department has been chosen by Equature to pilot body cameras that stream live to the dispatch center.

Photo by Sue Suchyta
Director of Police and Fire Services Steven Voss announces the police department has been chosen by Equature to pilot body cameras that stream live to the dispatch center.

 

Voss: No responder will ever be left alone

By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers

TRENTON – Equature of Southfield has chosen the Trenton Police Department to pilot its live stream body cameras, Director of Police and Fire Services Steven Voss told the city council Jan. 22.

“They are taking the body-worn camera to a different level,” Voss said. “No one is using these yet. We are going to be the group that they pilot this with, an actual live stream.”

Voss said Equature is using the functionality of an Android cell phone, which officers will wear as their body-worn camera, and it will live stream to dispatch command centers.

He said the system will create transparency for law enforcement, which is a top priority, and improve officer safety.

Voss said the department will receive five body worn cameras Feb. 1, which five officers will volunteer to wear for 90 days. After the initial 90 days, Equature wants actionable feedback that will help the company improve its functionality and make it more workable for officers.

Once any needed technical enhancements and changes have been made, Equature will provide the department with 22 body-worn cameras that will be worn by each uniformed officer.

Voss said two years of hardware maintenance and streaming storage will be provided for each camera, which will come with body harnesses.

“The reason they are doing this for free is they want us to be their sales agent,” Voss said. “So we will be contacted by other police departments.”

Voss said the department has developed a rapport with the company while using its technology for its telephone recording system. Equature was also aware that the department has tested other brands of body worn cameras, and saw the experience as an advantage.

The body cameras will have real-time connectivity to command and control, which Voss said will allow the cameras to go on instantly if there is an emergency like an active shooter, and will allow the command center to see what is going on through the body cams.

He said manual video downloading is eliminated, since the data streams directly to the cloud. He said they have addressed security concerns regarding the body cam video data storage.

“It will improve citizen transparency,” Voss said. “No responder is left alone, and each camera has a GPS locator on it, so if dispatch cannot get ahold of an officer at 4 a.m., they will be able to tell where the officer is.”

Voss said he is excited that the department has been chosen for the pilot program.

“We feel very fortunate to be chosen,” he said.

(Sue Suchyta can be reached at sue.suchyta@yahoo.com.)