Panasonic's Toughbook Arbitrator 360 In-Car Digital Video System Captures Evidence Surrounding Entire Police Vehicle

Secaucus, NJ - Panasonic Computer Solutions Company, manufacturer of durable, reliable Panasonic Toughbook® computers, today announced the launch of the Toughbook Arbitrator 360° in-car digital video system, a breakthrough end-to-end solution that can support up to six cameras in one law enforcement vehicle for comprehensive evidence capture.

Designed using extensive feedback from law enforcement agencies, and drawing from more than 50 years of Panasonic video innovations, the Arbitrator 360° maximizes officer safety by enabling a 360-degree view surrounding the entire vehicle. Its intuitive user interface can simultaneously display and record up to five camera feeds, so patrol officers can effortlessly monitor their entire surroundings from the driver’s seat.

Live video streaming capabilities are built in to the Arbitrator 360° as an additional safety feature. Police dispatchers can now monitor what’s happening in each patrol car from headquarters.  If an officer is in trouble, such as an altercation during a traffic stop, the dispatcher can remotely zoom the camera for a better picture, or change the frames-per-second bit rate for more details.

One upgrade from the previous Arbitrator version is the supporting software, which was developed and will be maintained exclusively by Panasonic to enable complete quality control. Key attributes to the new Arbitrator software include:

  • Continuity: The consistent front- and back-end software interface makes it incredibly simple for users to monitor, record and access saved videos – all with minimal training. The software is also backward-compatible with older hardware.
  • Remote Management: The system can update vehicle settings, vehicle software and client software all from the administrator console, eliminating the need to adjust settings in each vehicle manually.
  • Virtual Case Files: The system can manage all types of digital evidence, ensuring a secure and auditable data source with every image and video file retrievable through a simple case number search.

Panasonic will provide a series of Webinar tutorials for existing Arbitrator customers interested in installing the new software. To register, contact Chris Buckley at (877) 826-6539.

Automated Recording Keeps Officers Focused on Police Work The process of recording, transferring and storing all video evidence with the Arbitrator 360° is fully automated, so police officers can focus solely on their duties. As with consumer-facing digital video recorders (DVR) used for television, the Arbitrator 360° video evidence is constantly being cached. Once the record button is pressed, either manually or through a designated trigger, the 90 seconds of video preceding it are automatically included to ensure all evidence is captured. Agencies can activate up to 16 triggers to start the recording, such as when the speedometer hits a certain speed, the sirens turn on, car doors open or impact is detected.

For officers who want both audio and video evidence captured while they’re out of the vehicle, a digital wireless microphone is included with the Arbitrator 360°. It features a line-of-sight range of up to 1,000 feet, so the officer can attach the microphone to their uniform and record conversations on traffic stops or residence visits. Buttons on the device can trigger the in-car camera to start recording, or mute the audio.

“The Arbitrator 360° provides police departments with the most all-encompassing and effective tool for gathering evidence, while also protecting officers and keeping their focus on police work,” said Greg Peratt, director of digital video products, Panasonic Computer Solutions Company. “The system is fully customizable to each individual agency’s needs, and offers dependable protection of video evidence from cuffs to court.”

Protecting the Chain of Evidence through Reliable Storage and Transfer The Arbitrator 360° uses Panasonic solid-state high-capacity SD Memory Cards (SDHC) for highly reliable, long-term video storage. With four SDHC slots and up to 32 GB of memory on each card, the Arbitrator 360° has four times more storage capacity than the previous version. The camera uses H.264 standard video compression, saving police departments money by recording higher-quality images on about half the storage space of MPEG-2 standards.

The media files stored on Panasonic memory cards are proprietary and secure, so evidence can’t be changed or distributed without proper permissions. Videos can be transferred directly from patrol cars to police station servers, using wireless Internet hotspots, so officers never need to handle the evidence.

Once video is saved on the server, it becomes easily searchable by categories such as incident, car number, officer name or time of day, with permissions settings and an access record to protect the chain of evidence. Because events captured on the Arbitrator 360° have varying levels of importance, agencies are also able to easily categorize videos by type of incident, and apply different standards to how long each is stored.  For example, all hit-and-runs can be automatically stored for two years while speeding infractions are kept for six months, accommodating each agency’s retention policies and statute of limitations.

“The Toughbook Arbitrator 360° has given us a true end-to-end solution for not just recording video, but storing, organizing and accessing video, as well,” said Sergeant Todd Beam, Lincoln (NE) Police Department. “In addition, we quickly realized the benefits of deploying multiple in-car cameras by disproving an internal affairs complaint using evidence captured on a rear-facing camera. From our perspective, a room full of DVDs is no better than a room full of VHS tapes, so the ability to manage and transfer all video evidence digitally is a huge bonus. Our patrol officers found the Arbitrator 360° software interface very easy to use, and were up and running with very minimal training. We value the long-term presence and stability Panasonic has demonstrated in public safety.”

For more details on how Lincoln Police have been using the Arbitrator 360°, watch this video: www.panasonic.com/toughbook/arbitrator360/video.

Rugged Features to Survive the Rigors of Public Safety As with all Toughbook mobile computers, the Arbitrator 360° features the most reliable, rugged capabilities of any product in its . Panasonic conducted 50 factory tests on the Arbitrator 360° to ensure it can withstand extreme environments faced by law enforcement vehicles, such as high/low temperatures, dust-resistance and intense vibration.

Toughbook Arbitrator 360° Full Features and Specifications ftp://ftp.panasonic.com/pub/Panasonic/toughbook/specsheets/arbitrator_360_ss.pdf

Superior Warranty, Support and Professional Services The new Arbitrator 360° digital video recorder and camera includes a three-year limited warranty.  Panasonic boasts an average call center hold time of less than 75 seconds. Panasonic also offers a full range of professional pre- and post-deployment services, including on-site support. For the complete warranty terms, please visit www.panasonic.com/toughbook/warranty.

Pricing and Availability The Arbitrator 360° is available now at an estimated retail price starting at $4,650, exclusively through authorized Panasonic Mobile Video resellers nationwide.

Please visit www.panasonic.com/toughbook/arbitrator360 for more information.

About Panasonic Computer Solutions Company Panasonic Computer Solutions Company®™ empowers the mobile workforce. The company is a unit of Panasonic Corporation of North America, which is the principal North American subsidiary of Panasonic Corporation (NYSE: PC). Panasonic has delivered reliable, durable mobile solutions through its Toughbook® line of notebook computers for fifteen years and has expanded the boundaries of wireless communications technology through a broad portfolio of products, ranging from fully-rugged, industrial strength notebook computers and tablet PCs to business-rugged thin-and-light and ultraportable notebooks. A core manufacturer, Panasonic controls the entire process of design, manufacture, quality assurance, service and support. As a result, Panasonic Toughbook computers are known for having the lowest failure rates in the industry. Government, industrial, and commercial users—from Fortune 1,000 companies to small businesses—rely on solutions from Panasonic, wherever their work takes them.

All brand and company/product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of the respective companies. All specifications are subject to change without notice. Information on Panasonic’s full line of notebook PCs for the mobile professional can be obtained by calling 800-662-3537 or at http://www.toughbook.com.