WatchGuard, a privately-held U.S. manufacturer of in-car and body-worn camera systems for law enforcement, was selected by the department after careful vetting and evaluation of 5 vendors and 6 models of cameras. The contract was approved at the City Council meeting held on December 5th, 2016.
(The Largest City in Ohio Begins Phased Roll-Out of Industry-Leading Body-Worn Cameras After Thorough and Intense Vendor Selection Process. Courtesy of NBC4 Columbus and YouTube)
“This past August, thirty officers working a variety of assignments volunteered to test the cameras, and identified the strengths and weaknesses of each vendor,” said Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther in a press conference where the deployment was announced.
“Their input informed the city’s decision to select a vendor and enter into a contract with the world’s largest, and we believe best, manufacturer or law enforcement video systems – WatchGuard.”
The Columbus body camera program will be implemented through a multi-phase deployment, beginning with the Traffic Enforcement Division.
The phases are predicated by the installation of the department’s fiber optic communication infrastructure in the department’s substations. The department’s goal for completed fiber optic installation is scheduled for the end of May 2017.
(When integrated with WatchGuard Video’s 4RE In-Car System, VISTA WiFi allows for the intelligent collaboration of all cameras in a recording group to capture a single incident from many angles, linking those videos in evidence. Courtesy of WatchGuard and YouTube)
The announced deployment comes in the midst of a year that has witnessed high adoption of WatchGuard’s technologically advanced products by some of the largest cities in the United States.
In April 2016, the Houston Police Department deployed VISTA cameras to begin the largest deployment of body cameras in the country.
In June 2016, the City of Detroit announced WatchGuard as their police department’s body camera vendor of choice.
“We congratulate the City of Columbus and the Columbus Police Department on the deployment of their body camera program,” said Steve Coffman, President of WatchGuard Video. “Their careful and professional selection process is to be commended.”
WatchGuard Video is the technology pioneer and market leader for law enforcement video systems and evidence-management software.
One-third of the agencies in the United States utilize WatchGuard’s proprietary solutions to capture, manage and share digital video evidence using the most durable, reliable and highest-quality American-made products including the 4RE® in-car and VISTA™ body camera systems.