ENGLEWOOD – Due to flawed technology and manufacturing defects associated with body worn and in-car cameras used by the police department, the City of Englewood will be replacing the current cameras with a more reliable and proven system.
According to Englewood IT Director, Jared Markland, the existing system could not handle the workload standards of the police department. The city has been using a body camera system for five years and an in-car system for three years.
“The importance of having reliable, clear videos has forced the city to look at other vendors for a solution to meet our needs,” Markland said in a memo to city council. “WatchGuard Video is an industry standard for police video systems. Their in-car system is widely adopted in the Miami Valley and has very positive reviews. The durability and quality were some of the huge improvements over the existing system.”
The total cost of the system to equip eight police cruisers, provide 20 body camera units, one cloud video virtual server, with licenses and fees is $78,270.
“We have been struggling for some time to keep our current equipment operating properly but we are dealing with a vendor that has not been reliable or efficient in providing technical support,” said Police Chief Mark Brownfield. “The need for in-car and body worn cameras has been proven in numerous situations over the years. Accurately documenting our police encounters has protected the city from frivolous legal actions and assisted in convictions.”
The city evaluated two separate camera vendors, Axon and WatchGuard, to determine the best option. Axon (formerly Taser) had a good body worn camera but was lacking an in-car camera system. WatchGuard was determined to have the best combination of both including a state of the art cloud storage based solution.
“WatchGuard installed a complete system for us to use including a server,” Brownfield said. “We had several officers use the cameras and were very happy with the equipment. We also checked with other users and they strongly recommended WatchGuard.”