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Ocean City to Install $6K Cameras in Patrol Cars

May 22, 2009

OCEAN CITY, MD – Resort police will install five to six Panasonic brand cameras in late August at a cost of $5,998 per car, according to The Daily Times. The total cost, including hardware and training, will come to $47,746.

Cameras will be installed the newest patrol cars in the fleet, ones that are used constantly over three shifts, said Capt. Mike Colbert.

Funding comes from a $65,000 Department of Homeland Security grant, said Lt. Greg Guiton, as reported by the Times.

Last spring, police tried out in-car camera systems from three vendors, each for two months. Guiton said police liked the Panasonic cameras best because the product was the most user-friendly.

Even during the test run, Guiton said, video footage proved useful in settling complaints against Ocean City patrolmen by citizens caught in a traffic stop, reported the Times.

The system also retrieves video footage wirelessly, without having to pull video from a videocassette or DVD. For police officers, it's an effortless and efficient transfer that keeps them out off the delicate chain of custody, Guiton said.

Using a wireless hotspot in the parking lot, video data would upload automatically from the device's hard drive in the vehicle to a server in the police station. If that hardware fails, the system also comes with an ethernet connection as backup. The system also comes with a 10-terabyte server for storage.

Other Maryland law enforcement agencies already have a contractual relationship with the Panasonic brand vendor.

Police first weighed getting in-car cameras in November 2007, when Colbert and Guiton pitched this pilot program. If the first few cameras are worth it to police, they said, then police will seek grant money to add more to their fleet, reported the Times.


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