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March 14, 2005
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Panasonic Toughbook Arbitrator: Officer’s New Partner OK with Handling the Paperwork

Part 3 of a Special 5-Part Series on the Panasonic Toughbook® Arbitrator

It’s a Saturday night and Joe Brown, a veteran cop, gets ready to roll on his graveyard shift. He prefers nights because there’s a lot more action. Recently, Brown got a new partner and they already have a great working relationship, even though his partner never leaves the patrol car.

Their relationship is simple: Brown handles all of the action while his partner captures, categorizes and stores it all in digital format. Brown’s new partner is the Toughbook® Arbitrator™, a revolutionary new mobile digital video system that is quickly becoming a great partner to many officers.

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Small on Size, Big on Performance

The Toughbook® Arbitrator™ video camera records digital video and audio directly to the trunk-mounted digital video deck that takes up less space than Brown’s lunch pail. To ensure that Brown spends as much time on the streets as possible, the Toughbook® Arbitrator™ downloads data to the precinct via a secured wireless network. He never has to physically handle the data; that’s his partner’s job.

The Toughbook® Arbitrator™ is all about compact ruggedness and technological advances that allow more data to be stored on a credit card-sized P2 flash memory card than a large box of VHS tapes. Brown’s days of lugging around VHS tapes after each shift and digging them up for court appearances are finally behind him.

Cop Tough

Not only can Brown’s new partner handle a lot of information, it can also handle the physical demands of life on the streets. Brown’s faith in the Toughbook® Arbitrator’s™ toughness stems from the legendary performance of the law enforcement inspired Toughbook® notebooks.

Once, Brown recalls, a highway patrolman in Montgomery, Alabama, left his Toughbook® notebook on top of his patrol car after being called to an emergency. Amazingly, the Toughbook® didn’t slide off the car when he sped away because of its rubber “feet”. It stayed on the roof even as the trooper reached speeds of 60 miles per hour!

Eventually, it slipped off and tumbled end-over-end for nearly 150 feet…shattered for sure, the trooper thought. Much to his surprise, the equipment was still working and all of the data was intact when he retrieved it. Since hearing that story, Brown doesn’t worry much about spilling his coffee on his laptop and he knows the Toughbook® Arbitrator’s™ system will perform equally as well.

Triggered for Optimal Performance

The Toughbook® Arbitrator™ has a total of seven “triggers” that can automatically engage the video recording system. Brown knows his partner is capturing the action every time he turns on his light bar or siren, hits 80mph, or even if he removes his shotgun from its rack. Recording is also triggered if Brown is out of the car and activates his wireless microphone. He can “customize” the system to his own individual preferences. He can also call for back-up straight from his Toughbook® notebook.

Even with all of these triggers, Brown knows that critical evidence can be missed even when nothing indicates suspicious activity. Luckily, the Toughbook® Arbitrator™ supports pre and post-event recording of up to 180 seconds.

Maximizing Time on The Beat

The Toughbook® Arbitrator™ has also increased Brown’s efficiency and maybe more importantly, his visibility. He used to spend hours at the station writing reports and doing other administrative jobs. But now, when Brown makes an arrest or issues a citation, a significant amount of his “paperwork” is done automatically. The data captured by his Toughbook® Arbitrator™ camera and microphone can be attributed directly to his case report synchronizing the data with the exact time, rate of speed and GPS location of the incident.

While the Toughbook Arbitrator was recording video, it was also recording other valuable information. By the time he gets back to the station to handle his reports, much of the information is already completed. Luckily, the Toughbook Arbitrator is compatible with his department’s existing database management system.

Sharing Data with No Boundaries

As Brown drives through his community, he appreciates his new partner even more. The digital video and audio data captured by Brown’s Toughbook® Arbitrator™ and downloaded via wireless network to his precinct can also be shared with numerous sources in the interest of public safety. Panasonic, in collaboration with IBM Global Services, has combined digital video capture with law enforcement media management applications to make rapid deployment of secured critical data possible. If Brown’s Toughbook Arbitrator records a dangerous individual who evades arrest, the suspect’s image can be sent to schools, universities, malls, banks and office parks in a matter of minutes.

Confidence in the Courtroom

Brown used to dread his days in court. Now, he goes there with more confidence than ever. He can quickly and efficiently find specific video and/or audio footage by inputting a suspect’s name or a date. Alternately, he can find specific footage using date, times, officer names, suspect’s names or driver’s license numbers as search criteria.

The result, Brown says, is higher conviction rates, less chance for lawsuits and a chance for officers to defend themselves against many unjustified complaints. Video evidence is available to back up the “good guys.”

Police work still involves paperwork. That may never change. But with the Toughbook® Arbitrator™ as a partner, there’s much less of it. Officers like Brown have fewer administrative tasks, so they can spend time where they are most needed: on the street. And that suits officers like Brown just fine.

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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