Body-worn video cameras are valuable tools that can be used by law enforcement to record traffic stops, arrests, sobriety tests, and interviews. Body-worn video camera systems typically consist of a camera, microphone, battery, and onboard storage. They are designed to be head-mounted or worn at various locations on the body, depending on the model. In January 2015, the System Assessment and Validation for Emergency Responders (SAVER) Program conducted an operationally oriented assessment of body-worn video cameras for law enforcement.
Seven body-worn video cameras were assessed by emergency responders. The criteria and scenarios used in this assessment were derived from the results of a focus group of emergency responders with experience using body-worn video cameras. The assessment addressed 16 evaluation criteria in three SAVER categories: Capability, Deployability, and Usability. Black Mamba Protection scored 2nd highest overall score!
The purpose of this assessment was to obtain information on body-worn video cameras that will be useful in making operational and procurement decisions. The activities associated with this assessment were based on recommendations from a focus group of emergency responders with experience using body-worn video cameras.
The SAVER Program assesses products based on criteria in five established categories:
- Affordability groups criteria related to life-cycle costs of a piece of equipment or system
- Capability groups criteria related to the power, capacity, or features available for a piece of equipment or system to perform or assist the responder in performing one or more relevant tasks
- Deployability groups criteria related to the movement, installation, or implementation of a piece of equipment or system by responders at the site of its intended use
- Maintainability groups criteria related to the maintenance and restoration of a piece of equipment or system to operational conditions by responders
Usability groups criteria related to the quality of the responders’ experience with the operational employment of a piece of equipment or system. This includes the relative ease of use, efficiency, and overall satisfaction of the responders with the equipment or system.
The focus group of emergency responders met in December 2010 and identified 25 evaluation criteria within five SAVER categories: Affordability, Capability, Deployability, Maintainability, and Usability. They assigned a weight for each criterion’s level of importance on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being somewhat important and 5 being of utmost importance. The SAVER categories were assigned a percentage to represent each category’s importance relative to the other categories.
Products were assessed against 16 evaluation criteria. Nine criteria recommended by the focus group were not assessed. Power, Data Storage, Data Security, Software Requirements, Operating/Storage Temperatures, and Recharge Method/Time were not assessed because these specifications are better assessed by jurisdictions during the procurement process as they are often specific to the requirements of the jurisdiction. Battery Access was not assessed because the majority of the products did not have a removable battery. Streaming Video was not assessed since only two of the products featured wireless streaming. Value was not assessed because jurisdictions have varying budgets available for purchasing equipment and product performance should be assessed separately from cost. Because none of the criteria in the Maintainability and Affordability categories were assessed, these categories were not included in the assessment. To account for two less categories and less criteria in the other three categories, the Capability, Usability, and Deployability category weights were changed from their original weights to the SAVER Program standard weights of 50, 33, and 17 percent, respectively. Also, evaluator comments regarding the ease of placing the cameras in covert mode (when applicable) were collected even though this was not directly associated with any of the assessed criteria.
Read the full Assessment Report HERE