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January 31, 2005
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Panasonic's Toughbook Arbitrator: Mean Street Durability

Part 2 of a Special 5-Part Series on the Panasonic Toughbook® Arbitrator

Meeting the Requirements of Law Enforcement

The baseline requirements for street cops are simple yet demanding: be smart and be tough. It goes without saying that the tools of your trade should meet the same standards. Once again, Panasonic has met the challenge with new technology that’s as essential to safe, effective police work as handcuffs and patrol cars.

It's the Toughbook® ArbitratorMobile Digital Video System, the newest addition to Panasonic's widely-praised Toughbook® line of products.

Panasonic has been creating equipment specifically designed for and built in cooperation with law enforcement officers since 1995. The company drew on this experience by designing the Toughbook® Arbitratorwith exacting technology and ruggedness that only police officers could define.

Applying Street Cop Experience to Leading Edge Technology

In the development of the Toughbook® Arbitrator, Panasonic turned to a cop who knew both police work and technology. He is Bill Salveson of the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department.

Salveson, for 34 years, effectively handled duties ranging from Gang Sergeant and Organized Crime Investigator to overseeing the implementation, expansion and day-to-day management of the Sheriff's Data Network. His technical credentials also included serving as the LA County coordinator for CLETS (California Law Enforcement Telecommunications Systems). Clearly a unique combination of street smarts and technical savvy, Salveson was eager to put his knowledge and expertise to good use.

He was quickly invited to help spearhead the development of the Arbitrator™.

"The goal was to apply real life law enforcement experience to the technology development process," he says. "And a major part of that meant developing equipment that was as durable and rugged as the worst people we're trying to stop."

"Rugged" was the operational word for the Toughbook®.

The Rugged and Dependable Toughbook® Tradition Continues

Salveson says the characteristics of the Panasonic Toughbook® Notebook PC, including its shock-resistant, spill-resistant and vibration-resistant design, were a great foundation for developing the Arbitrator™. “The similarities of the Arbitratorin toughness and reliability to its Toughbook® predecessors are undeniable,” Salveson notes.

The Arbitrator’s camera is highlighted by several technological firsts including:

  • An all-digital solid-state video system
  • A coated magnesium case and custom-designed camera mount providing stability, durability and heat protection
  • High sensitivity and low-light capability with built-in infrared technology
  • A 220X zoom and nearly 70 degree, wide-angle lens for enhanced surveillance (25 to 50% wider than current cameras)

"In simple terms, it's a tough and durable camera that records a large viewing area with very little need for light while creating DVD quality evidence. The only way to achieve such performance is by building a camera from the ground up, which is exactly what Panasonic did.” Salveson says.

The second component to the Arbitratorsystem is the equally resilient Panasonic Video Processing Unit. It is ruggedly constructed and designed to endure a hostile, mobile environment. At the same time it captures high-quality audio and video footage to the patrol car’s computer. This footage can then be relayed via wireless communication platforms to the department network and then downloaded by other responding officers.

"The storage and accessibility of digital data has been a key issue in the decision making process for departments evaluating mobile systems. Panasonic’s Video Processing Unit not only enables officers to deliver critical crime scene information in very little time but it also gives them the confidence to push their patrol cars to the limit without damaging data.” Salveson says.

The Panasonic Video Processing Unit features:

  • Vibration-resistant, solid state, card-size storage device
  • Dual Panasonic P2 Flash Memory cards with 4GB (16 hours) of video capacity per memory card (32 hours total).
  • No moving parts/requires no auxiliary power.
  • The storage card can be rewritten approximately 100 000 times, and safely removed and reinserted approximately 30,000 times.
  • Eight hours of video can be uploaded in approximately 15 minutes through an 802.11g (wireless) network.
  • Pre-event and post-event recording up to 180 seconds.
  • Robust security throughout the life cycle of the video
  • Capture of video and audio data to an MPEG4 digital format at 30 frames per second for full-motion DVD quality
  • Triplex operation, so personnel can view, review and capture video simultaneously
  • Global Positioning System stamping

Police officers throughout the country are turning to the Arbitratorbecause of its clear technological advantages, its rugged structure, extensive memory capability, boundless storage capacity, unprecedented speed, and wireless memory transfer functions that were before unavailable.

Panasonic’s Unrelenting Commitment to Customer Satisfaction

There is more to the Toughbook® Arbitrator, however, than just an exceptional product. The Arbitratornot only meets the day to day requirements of law enforcement, but also offers an exceptional support system. Users have telephone support 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Further support comes from a network of Field Service Managers. And standard warranties are perhaps the best in the business.

“Panasonic’s commitment to law enforcement may be most evident in their support team. They’re always ready to help.” Salveson says.

In the end, the Arbitratoroffers the latest technology for the 21st century but it's still a throwback to the past. It's found a way to be as smart and as tough as a street cop.

Part 1: Panasonic: Equipping Safer and More Productive Officers

Part 2: Panasonic: Toughbook Arbitrator: Mean Street Durability

Part 3: Officer’s New Partner OK with Handling the Paperwork

Part 4: Tips for Effective In-Car Video Use

Part 5: Field tactics and the Panasonic Toughbook Arbitrator

Panasonic


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