Revolutionizing Corrections: The Impact of Public Safety Tech on Safety and Liability

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Those who work in and around the corrections industry know better than anyone that safety comes first. For that reason, tools that can help keep both officers and inmates safe are always worth the investment Technology has been playing an increasingly prominent role as corrections leaders seek to leverage as many tools as possible to keep things running smoothly inside their facility.  

Two main issues technology can help address are safety and liability.

The most cutting-edge tools revolutionizing public safety technology in corrections include body cameras, automated emergency response features, real-time streaming, and managing digital evidence with a digital evidence management system (DEMS).

These technologies work together to provide a comprehensive solution for both corrections and law enforcement professionals. A technological commitment to a solution that enables transparency and safety should also be supported with feature-rich system capabilities and robust data storage capacity.

Between rich features and thoughtful design, the benefits of police body cameras is evident and can yield a big impact on corrections officers and leadership. Utility’s own intelligent body camera technology, EOS By Utility ™, is ideal in this setting. Why? Utility’s body cameras are uniquely integrated into the officer’s uniform, making it impossible for them to fall off, be ripped off, or even stolen. The technology embedded in each camera facilitates policy-based, high-speed data collection. The enhanced user interface offers a simple media layout, a messages page, and an audio recorder.

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In the high-stakes environment of corrections, technological advancements provide vital support to officers. Automated emergency response features are crucial, offering both proactive and reactive safety measures to protect those who interact directly with the inmate population.

What are the protocols when a corrections officer experiences a critical incident? Utility’s EOS devices have an “officer down” feature that automatically activates and starts recording if an officer stays prone for a set amount of time (as determined by each organization). This body camera feature also sends for help by alerting staff within the POLARIS by Utility™ system that the officer is down and sharing the GPS coordinates.

If an officer is injured, the body camera starts recording and sends an alert to Central Dispatch with exact GPS coordinates of the officer’s location.

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EOS by Utility™ Body Cameras

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Automated activation capabilities operate seamlessly within the Utility ecosystem. A pre-record option of up to 2 minutes can be engaged, enabling footage to be captured prior to the incident. The idea is to let corrections officers do their job without any distractions. This feature serves as a preemptive layer of accountability, ensuring that critical moments leading up to an incident are not missed and are properly documented.

In the case of an inmate incident or investigation into a concerning claim, corrections teams can turn to powerful digital evidence management (DEM) to gain an unbiased view of what transpired. This includes evidence analysis tools and a secure sharing function – all integrated into a robust chain of custody audit log. POLARIS by Utility™ helps teams track and back up the truth when it matters most. This powerful virtual command center offers immediate video playback, including the ability to simultaneously view multiple feeds in real-time. It also provides a secure chain of custody for that precious video footage as it moves within your data ecosystem.

Automated recording policies can make a difference in incident capture versus no recording and facing the consequences. EOS by Utility™ devices can be set with automated alert recordings and other automated recording policies, ensuring recordings begin without the need to remember to press a button to begin the recording – the last thing an officer should have to do during a crisis. Geofence recording policies can begin body camera recording when an officer enters a location that may lack fixed cameras or proper sight lines. This provides transparency for both officers and inmates, should anything unusual transpire in that shrouded area of the facility. The auto-start, in this case, means less discretion for the officer in deciding whether to start recording and can be a powerful inhibitor of poor conduct or improper use of force.

Should an incident happen, departments can find resolution faster if they have unified video access in place. It’s hard to overstate the importance of having a single location from which your team can access, analyze, and manage data. This includes footage from body cameras as well as fixed IP-based surveillance cameras. 

Integrating live and recorded video feeds, enables corrections teams to have higher levels of situational awareness. With access to real-time and historical video data through a single interface, team members are empowered to make quicker, more informed decisions. 
A single point of access reduces the “swivel chair” effect where people must switch between multiple systems while performing various required actions. With Utility’s solution set of body cameras, fixed camera integration, and our DEM platform, we are in a unique position to help you manage all your data through a single pane of glass. 

Utility believes that body cameras – along with the technology embedded in and surrounding them – help tell the truth. Confidently capturing unbiased views can have an important impact on both officer safety and integrity and inmate behavior. A bodyworn camera and integrated facility camera solution can keep everyone safer and less vulnerable to potentially explosive situations. To learn more about how to implement these public safety technologies into your corrections facilities, connect with our team today!

About Utility, Inc.

Utility, the innovative technology-enabled service provider recognized for creating groundbreaking digital systems for frontline professions, provides a universe of intuitive products for effectively capturing, managing, and releasing video evidence. Technologies include a variety of cameras, sensors, and devices, as well as situational awareness software solutions for law enforcement, first responders, campus security, transportation agencies, and utility providers.

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