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Michigan Agency Expands In-Car Video In Police Vehicles

May 19, 2011  | 

Tired of its outdated in-car video solution in only 15 vehicles, the Flint (Mich.) Police Department sought to upgrade and expand the system. With help from Livonia, Mich.-based Security Countermeasures & Technology Services (SCTS), the agency added an Insight Video Net solution to 50 vehicles.

The department now uses Insight's mobile management system (MMS), which captures high quality video and audio from vehicle cameras. It also records GPS information, allowing video to be linked to the location where the video was captured. Another new feature the department employs is the CMS Flex, a digital evidence management system, Insight Video Net CEO Robert Carreon tells Security Sales & Integration.

"With CMS Flex, users have the capability of bringing up the in-car video footage through a wireless connection," he says. "It keeps the chain of custody and evidence pristine. That's the No. 1 goal of in-car video."

SCTS heard about the project through its Vice President of Law Enforcement Operations Hank Glaspie, a retired FBI special agent.

"The opportunity came about through a law enforcement training where I assisted another retired law enforcement officer," Glaspie tells SSI. "The training was done in such a thorough manner that I was able to do consulting work for the entire urban area. That work involved bringing in other resources that had the ability to understand what the issues were for the greater community. As a result, we left the impression that we had the experience in law enforcement services."

Founded eight years ago by a group of United States special agents, SCTS provides safety, security and consultant expertise to the commercial market, SCTS President and CEO Bernard Moner tells SSI. The company offers access control, CCTV, fire/life-safety, IT and wireless communications solutions to its commercial market clients.

A pressing criminal investigation caused unexpected delays in the project, which started in November 2010 and was completed in January. "There was a serial killer in the city, so patrols were beefed up," says Moner. "It was difficult to cycle vehicles in because we had to pull vehicles off the road basically for an entire day."

As many as two to three cars received a new system each day; however, during the process, the installer ran into a few issues deploying servers. For its part, Insight, which provided certification training to the installer prior to the project, assisted SCTS with its server challenges, says Moner.

"Literally, these guys will throw somebody on a plane and support whatever it is we need," he says. "That's very rare that you receive the type of customer support from an organization that writes a software platform."

With the system in place, SCTS provided two levels of training to the agency, including vehicle and server training, which included teaching users how to manage and move data on the server. Because the technology is new, there has been some resistance from some officers, says Moner.

"You always have that small group of people that resist change because it forces them to be held accountable," he says. "I would say 90 percent of the guys are happy with the system. They are pleased to do things that they weren't able to do in the past."

The agency also plans to use CMS Flex to manage crime scene photos, interrogation room video footage, sally port video, jail cell video, fixed camera recordings and more.

By Ashley Willis

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