What does technology do for officers and members of their community? A lot. Often, law enforcement officers are asked the question, “What role does technology play in your job?” The answer is, “A big one.” When technology is coupled with effective policy it can bring communities together, bridging the gap between agencies and those they serve. How is this done? Well, if a forward-thinking agency has implemented Utility’s BodyWorn™ (now EOS by Utility) body cameras, here are five things that the technology can do that just might surprise you:
(1) The BodyWorn camera is designed to not fall off.
Our patented design has solved an issue that is a concern for officers and communities and is often reported on in the news, with standard police body cameras falling off uniforms and failing to capture footage in critical moments. Utility’s BodyWorn cameras are fastened inside officers’ uniforms with a secure mounting system. This prevents them from detaching, ensuring video evidence is captured and available when needed.
(2) Officer Down
Utility’s BodyWorn technology has a groundbreaking feature that detects when an officer is down and alerts surrounding officers to their situation. This one feature can save the lives of officers and the lives of someone in need.
“There was an instance with a department where they started using the BodyWorn technology, and one night an officer was pulled over to the side of the road by someone waving,” said Lt. Josh Lindsey, from Helena Police Department in Alabama. “It ended up being a distressed parent whose toddler had stopped breathing, and they didn’t know what to do. So, the officer got down on the ground and started to administer CPR and the alert started to go off that an officer was down. Instead of standing up and correcting it, he realized he could use the alert to bring help, and that’s exactly what happened.” The BodyWorn camera had engaged the officer down alert enabling first responders to have a better understanding of the situation before arriving on the scene.
(3) Armed and Smart Holstered
Utility’s intelligent holster activation and alert system, the Smart Holster, is a sensor that attaches to a gun holster to detect when a firearm is removed. This feature adds time (when seconds can matter most) to aid an officer in safely handling a life-or-death situation. Here’s how it works—the second a gun is unholstered, the technology records when and how long it remains out of its holster and logs it into the system. There is no need to activate cameras by pressing buttons.
“It makes a mark in the video that records exactly what time during the recording the gun was unholstered,” Lieutenant Charles Hudson of the Helena police department said. “That way, if anyone tried to claim, ‘Oh, he had his gun out the whole time and was pointing it a
t me,’ we can say, ‘Actually, it was out for 12 seconds or however long,’ and it is 100 percent precise.”
(4) Utility’s Body-Worn Police Camera features unique, automatic start/stop recording functionalities.
An officer shouldn’t have to do something that technology can do for them. What does this mean? Utility’s EOS cameras turn on and off automatically – based upon the police department’s body-worn camera policy. Agencies can configure cameras to turn on when:
- An officer draws their firearm from its holster
- An officer begins to run
- An officer engages in jostled movement
- An officer activates car lights and/or siren
- An officer lies flat for 10 seconds
These functionalities remove the responsibility and discretion of turning cameras on and off from officers, further increasing transparency and accountability. The footage is also automatically uploaded to the cloud to ensure the footage is available when you need it.
(5) Automated Video Redaction
SmartRedaction™ allows law enforcement agencies to quickly respond when asked for video evidence to Public Records Requests. This technology identifies, tracks, and redacts objects and people, eliminating the time, costs, and staffing needed when done manually. This industry-leading tool protects the privacy of victims, innocent bystanders, and minors while further ensuring police protection, accountability, and transparency.
All these features and functions come together to create a unique system that can deter implicit bias and use of force issues.
We know that no singular solution can stop implicit bias and use of force issues, but Utility’s technology provides forward-thinking agencies the opportunity to leverage a holistic, policy-based system that captures – and automatically uploads – exactly what happens in officer/citizen interactions in an unbiased manner, ensuring the narrative is true, reliable, and secure.