Body Wearable Cameras

Safe City Systems (S3) Body Cameras And Storage Solutions Guide

Body Wearable Cameras are a significant investment in evidence capture hardware and evidence storage; make sure you can live with your choices. A few years ago deciding what systems to evaluate for your body-worn camera program was pretty easy. There were only a few cameras available. Now there are many more models and makes. Which means each Law Enforcement agency needs to give the decision of which camera it wants to buy some serious attention. S3 can suggest you the best to choose and we provide three cameras for your in-house testing. If your agency is using an in-car video system, we can help you test the test body camera with that system as well. Using the same make of body camera and in-car video system can have some advantages such as a shared evidence management system on the backend.

Evaluating The Camera

Here are some things that you want to consider as you start to choose what camera is right for you.


Every television buyer in America has been taught over the last decade or so that high definition (720p, 1080p) and ultra-high definition (4K) are must haves for picture quality. Don't bring that mindset into evaluating body-worn cameras because you don't necessarily want the highest resolution available. Yes, you want clear video, but the higher the resolution, the larger the file. Large files require more storage space and storage space costs money. Some systems allow you to select the resolution and many agencies discover they are better off choosing something less than the highest resolution.

Aspect Ratio

Industry standard for HD and 4K TVs is 16:9. But other aspect ratios are certainly viable. Record something on the camera and play it back to see if you like the aspect ratio.

Frame Rate

Standard motion picture frame rate is 24 frames per second. Standard video frame rate is 30 fps. Check the playback of the camera you are considering and see if you think it is smooth enough to meet your needs.

Still Photo

This feature allows you to shoot digital still images, and it can be quite useful. Some systems also let you select stills from video in the evidence management software.

Field of

This is what the camera sees. You will want to shoot some test footage and check for visual quality of the entire field of view. Some cameras have a bit of fish-eye distortion at the edges of the field of view. Some agencies prefer to capture as much field of view as possible, even with distortion, while others prefer less field of view with more clarity.


If a police camera can't work in the dark, it's not going to be very useful. Some systems use infrared illumination and night vision technology. Others use proprietary low-light imaging that mimics the low-light capability of the human eye.


Obviously, your first concern regarding the battery is runtime. Rather than take the manufacturer's word for runtime, run it yourself. If it's not living up to the manufacturer's specs, ask why. Another battery issue you may want to consider is re-charge time. Also, remember batteries die, so find out if you can change out the battery yourself.


Be sure it can store enough data at your preferred resolution to achieve your evidence capture goals.


Make sure the camera mounts on the officer in a position that meets your mission objective. For example, if you want to use it in a car, chest mounted may not be your best option because the view will be obstructed by the steering wheel and dashboard.


Make sure the camera captures audio at a quality level sufficient to meet your needs. In some incidents, audio may be the only evidence you capture, as the camera may be pulled off of the officer or the camera's lens may be obstructed. Size: Find a camera that is comfortable for your officers.

Most Wanted Feature

There is a long list of features available on some cameras. Here are some that you are likely to really want. One-Touch Recording: This is self-explanatory. But what you need to know is how easy it is to activate a recording, especially under stress.

Pre-Event Recording

You need the camera to capture the reaction of your officer and the action that incited the officer's response. But it's likely the officer will not have triggered the camera in time to capture the inciting incident. With pre-event recording, it’s captured anyway. Pre-event recording means the camera is always capturing images on a buffer but doesn't store the data unless the officer activates an actual recording. Generally, body-worn cameras that offer pre-event recording have a 10-second to 30-second pre-event capability.

Synchronized Triggering

An interface from your in-car system or some other device can automatically trigger the body-worn camera of the officer. Some systems trigger all of the body-worn cameras of that make at the scene. Some also activate the in-car system when the officer activates his or her body camera.


A dock or "cradle" automatically uploads the data from your cameras to the evidence management and storage system. It also recharges your cameras. This is critical equipment, if you don't want to either assign someone to perform this task for all of the cameras or have your officers spend time at the end of their shifts doing it.

Storage And Management

What you need from your evidence management system is ease of use and security. Evidence management software must help you track your files and recover them for authorized viewing. It also has to preserve the chain of custody. If you have in-car video systems, you may want to use the same make of camera so that you can use the same evidence management software. However, some body camera evidence management soft-ware can handle in-car video from other makes of camera. Which-ever way you choose to go, make sure it suits your needs for sending files to other officers, to attorneys and prosecutors, and for honoring public records requests.

Once you start a body-worn camera program, you will be inundated with data. So storage is likely to be your body camera program's greatest ongoing expense. You will either need to store your data on in-house servers or on the cloud through a service provided by your camera maker or a third party. Be sure that you know the security concerns for both and make sure you are aware of all the costs that each might entail. You don't want any nasty surprises.

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About Us

Safe City Systems is a company focused on providing end-to-end solutions for Video-based Surveillance, Video Analytics, Emergency Dispatch, Traffic Management, Communications and Mobile monitoring devices. Our solutions provide a unified, directed and effective response system for Public safety and law enforcement agencies. Agencies can react immediately to incidents of any magnitude, be more proactive in prevention of incidents, and record meaningful evidence for fair prosecution.

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