More than ever, police have to protect themselves from accusations against their integrity. The WatchGuard family of worn and in-car cameras make it easier to do so, with sophisticated recording and syncing technology that ensures every situation is captured. Few companies that service the law enforcement field have been as successful as WatchGuard. The company headquarters are located in Allen, Texas, and everything is made and assembled onsite.
WatchGuard, like many tech firms operating in the law enforcement space, has an impressive amount of brainpower on its staff. That brainpower is dedicated to several fields, including mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, embedded software engineering, software development, test engineering and FPGA designing. That has likely played a major part in its rapid growth, which has been recognized on state and national lists as among the fastest-growing private companies in the country.
WatchGuard products can be placed into one of three categories – body cameras, in-vehicle cameras and support software which is primarily used for evidence management. The company’s goal is to ensure officers are protected in the field and can respond appropriately if the situation escalates.
WatchGuard’s Product Offerings
1. VISTA WiFi body camera – The VISTA set of body cameras is WatchGuard’s highly esteemed body cam model for police, and is designed to save the officer’s time and attention. The cam can start recording with a single button press and comes with an easy to read backlit display, which includes information about battery level and remaining space for recordings.
The VISTA saves the officer a great deal of time by allowing them to categorize recordings in the field, rather than picking through them back at the station. Using this functionality, officers can place their recordings into arrest, covert, warning, citation or other categories that make it easy for future reviewing.
2. 4RE in-vehicle camera – The 4RE can be a standalone addition to a police vehicle or used as a companion to the VISTA WiFi. The 4RE offers full panoramic coverage of the front of the vehicle and records in both standard and high definition for the ultimate in recording fidelity.
With its ultra-wide dynamic range (U-WDR) technology, the 4RE can provide a clear picture in any light level, by compositing dark and light levels into a single, perfect exposure. This is essential for nighttime traffic stops, where major lighting contrasts can make it difficult to pick up details like license plates. The camera also comes with a high-quality microphone that can pick up audio from long range and at a fidelity that competitive models can’t match.
And the 4RE can practically be put on autopilot. Once a recording is made, it automatically sends the data to evidence collection software back at the department, ensuring it isn’t lost in the shuffle.
But the 4RE and VISTA WiFi really shine when they are paired together to create a multipoint recording field. Multiple VISTA cams and 4RE cams can be tied to a single network, and they can all be configured to notice changes in status anywhere in the system. When one VISTA is activated, all other VISTA and 4RE cams are also switched to the recording mode. If things escalate in the field, it won’t matter that some officers forgot to switch their VISTA on, as long as one officer does so with theirs. Multiple recordings also provide stronger evidence, especially if an officer’s camera is obscured for some reason while in action. There isn’t a better option when it comes to protecting the officer’s side of the story.
Finally, the VISTA and 4RE are both designed with Record-After-the-Fact (RATF) technology. Some departments mandate cameras are left in record mode at all times. RATF is a valuable addition in this setting, as it allows department personnel to quickly parse through and find segments of automatically recorded video. RATF is perfect for those times when the value of a recording was only apparent after the situation occurred.
3. Evidence Library 4 – Along with its hardware offerings, WatchGuard also provides some of the cleanest and most usable evidence cataloging technology available to law enforcement. It’s an enterprise-class piece of software that can support thousands of users, each with their own set of permissions.
With Evidence Library 4, departments can store (locally or in the cloud), categorize, locate and view video evidence in seconds. And any camera recording that is synchronized to the selected recording is also played, which is normally the case when VISTA cams were used in conjunction with 4RE cams. Users can search for videos by date, the recording officer, location, situation category (arrest, citation, etc.) and other search criteria, which allows users to comb through thousands of videos to find the one they need. This is especially handy for those times when video evidence needs to be presented to another party, like a district attorney.
The system also tracks and logs any actions taken in the database, such as video viewing, uploading or importing. Keep a close eye on video evidence with Evidence Library 4.
There’s no denying that police are under more scrutiny than ever. Meet this challenge and keep tabs on everything that happens in the field using WatchGuard’s state-of-the-art camera technology.