Decatur Police choose local company for body cameras

Posted by Dena Mellick October 7, 2015
Decatur Police Officers compare notes in the parking lot of Decatur High. File photo by Dan Whisenhunt

Decatur Police Officers compare notes in the parking lot of Decatur High. File photo by Dan Whisenhunt

The Decatur Police Department has chosen a Decatur-based company as its body camera provider.

A press release from the company, Utility Associates, on Wednesday, October 7, said, “The Decatur Police Department has equipped its police force of 47 officers with BodyWorn™ police cameras. In addition to BodyWorn™, Utility’s Rocket™ vehicle router has been installed in 37 Decatur Police Department patrol cars to optimize each car with powerful and secure wireless internet capabilities for up to 1,500 feet around the vehicle.”

Decatur Police Lt. Jennifer Ross confirmed that the company has received the contract.

“We have entered into a contract but are still in the planning phase working on implementation,” Ross said.

The cameras are described as “automated,” and will “start recording based on the individual police department’s specific privacy policies using a number of policy-based triggers, including vehicle sensors and a built-in accelerometer.”

The company says the system “leverages the capabilities of a smart phone” in terms of its camera function and connectivity.

The Decatur City Commission was asked to approve the purchase of body cameras over the summer.

Here is the full press release from Utility:

Decatur Police Department to Deploy Utility’s BodyWorn™ Cameras
Officers Will Be Equipped With Utility’s BodyWorn™ Cameras and Rocket Vehicle Routers to Enhance Transparency and Build Trust Throughout the Community

Atlanta, Georgia (October 07, 2015)—Utility Associates, Inc. today officially announced that the Decatur Police Department in Decatur, Georgia is currently deploying Utility’s BodyWorn™ police body cameras—the only automated, policy-based body-worn police camera currently available on the market. The Decatur Police Department has equipped its police force of 47 officers with BodyWorn™ police cameras. In addition to BodyWorn™, Utility’s Rocket™ vehicle router has been installed in 37 Decatur Police Department patrol cars to optimize each car with powerful and secure wireless internet capabilities for up to 1,500 feet around the vehicle.

“We are thrilled to announce the Decatur Police Department has equipped its officers with our BodyWorn™ police camera and Rocket™ vehicle router technology,” said Robert McKeeman, CEO of Utility. “Our technology is developed to make capturing police camera video completely seamless and transparent at every step of the process—from recording, to uploading, to storing, to ensuring privacy protection when video is made public. The police officer does not have to be a videographer—they can focus on safely performing the task at hand. We applaud Chief Booker’s thorough evaluation process, and we are working closely with the Decatur Police Department as they deploy our Generation 2 body-worn camera system.”

Utility’s revolutionary BodyWorn™ camera system leverages the capabilities of a smart phone—unparalleled camera function, Wi-Fi connectivity, 4G LTE service and comprehensive GPS location system—and is the only available product to automatically start recording based on the individual police department’s specific privacy policies using a number of policy-based triggers, including vehicle sensors and a built-in accelerometer. According to a recent national poll of 1,000 voters measuring the American public’s perspectives of police body camera capabilities, two capabilities stand out in particular: 94% of those polled believe a body-worn camera should have an Officer Down Emergency Alert wireless reporting capability and 89% want Central Dispatch to be able to send out immediate Be On The Lookout (BOLO) alerts with pictures and text to all body-worn cameras. These two highest rated capabilities enhance police officer safety, and both are included in Utility’s Bodyworn camera system.

In addition to its technological capabilities, BodyWorn™ offers automated real-time video uploading to a protected cloud-based storage system in a compressed HD format. This feature will enable the Decatur Police Department to store a larger quantity of video more securely and for a longer amount of time at a significantly lower cost compared to competing body-camera technology providers. The Decatur Police Department also has access to Utility’s newly released redaction software, SmartRedaction™, which automatically identifies faces, body parts and other identifiable objects in a video and can selectively blur images based on need and specific privacy-policy restrictions as well as local, state and federal laws. This unique feature minimizes lead-time to publish redacted video taken by a body-worn camera, eliminates added labor costs and maximizes both accountability and transparency of law enforcement.

For more information on Utility its BodyWorn™ police camera and the Rocket™ vehicle router, visit the website: http://www.utility.com. Both BodyWorn™ and the newly released Smart Redaction™ will be on display in the Utility booth (#2625) at the 2015 International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Conference in Chicago, Illinois from October 24-27.

About Utility
Utility is a venture-capital funded software developer headquartered in Decatur, Georgia in metropolitan Atlanta. The company provides real-time Situational Awareness and Police Video Management Software as a service and vehicle wireless communications hardware solutions for Police, Fire, EMS, Electric and Gas Utility, and Public Transit customers across the US. Utility owns US patents 6,831,566; 7,768,548; and 8,781,475; and has numerous patents pending with the US Patent Office, the Canadian Patent Office, and the European Union Patent Office.

About Dena Mellick

Dena Mellick is the Associate Editor of Decaturish.com.

View all posts by Dena Mellick

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