In January 2015, the System Assessment and Validation for Emergency Responders (SAVER) Program assessed body-worn video cameras for use by law enforcement. These cameras can be used to record traffic stops, arrests, sobriety tests and interviews. The resulting Body-Worn Video Cameras for Law Enforcement Assessment Report aims to help law enforcement make operational and purchasing decisions.
A group of emergency responders with experience using body-worn video cameras assessed seven such systems, which typically consist of a camera, microphone, battery and onboard storage. The units are designed to be head-mounted or worn at various locations on the body, depending on the model.
The assessment addressed 16 evaluation criteria in three overarching categories:
- Capability (e.g., image quality, low-light capability, and field of view, etc.);
- Deployability (e.g., attachment options, durability, and interference); and
- Usability (e.g., camera activation, instant video playback, point of view, etc.).
The assessment report also includes a product list of advantages and disadvantages.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) established the SAVER Program to help emergency responders make procurement decisions. Located within the Science and Technology Directorate (S&T), the SAVER Program conducts assessments and validations on commercially available equipment and systems. It also develops knowledge products that provide relevant equipment information to the emergency responder community that enables them to better select, procure, use and maintain their equipment.
SAVER’s knowledge products provide information on equipment that falls under the categories listed in the DHS Authorized Equipment List (AEL), focusing primarily on two main questions for the responder community: “What equipment is available?” and “How does it perform?” The body-worn video cameras for law enforcement fall under AEL reference number 13LE-00-SURV entitled Equipment, Law Enforcement Surveillance. For more information on the SAVER Program or to view additional reports on body-worn video cameras for law enforcement or other technologies, visit http://www.dhs.gov/science-and-technology/saver.