Frisco, Texas is one of the fastest-growing cities in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. Keeping up with this growth has been a challenge for the Frisco Police Department (FPD). Established in 1965, the FPD currently has about 220 officers keeping watch over the city’s approximately 70 square mile jurisdiction.
Recently, the FPD spent about $1 million to update its portable computer and video recording infrastructure using equipment purchased from Getac and Getac Video Solutions (GVS). “Before Getac, we did not have any body cameras available,” said Barry Turner, the FPD’s Public Safety Technology Manager. “Our servers were full. We were experiencing major failures in our system due to age, and the technology wasn’t being supported.”
The FPD’s decision to buy Getac ruggedized laptop/tablets computers, body-worn cameras (bodycams), in-car cameras, and video displays came after some careful shopping by departmental personnel. “We compared different brands,” said FPD Corporal Christopher Hands. “The main thing that we were looking for was user-friendliness, and something that can integrate with what we have already been using.”
What The FPD Bought
To fulfill its mobile, vehicle, and Dispatch computing needs, the Frisco PD selected the Getac F110 ruggedized tablet, the Getac V110 ruggedized tablet that becomes a laptop using an attachable keyboard base, and the S410 ruggedized laptop computer.
“We have F110 tablets in our squad cars,” said Turner. “One of the reasons we chose them is to be able to pull those units out of the car and use them actually outside the vehicle — not be tied back to the vehicle for reports or taking notes and pictures. Our SROs (School Resource Officers) use the V110s, which are convertible tablets. And then we have the S410 that our Dispatch uses.” One big plus: The Getac S410 is fully compliant with the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) standard, right out of the box.
On the video side, the Frisco PD has purchased about 100 GVS VRX-20 with ZeroDark Camera in-car HD video camera systems, a number of GVS 5-inch video displays, and almost 300 GVS compact bodycams.
“The thing that caught my attention on the dash cam was its panoramic view coverage,” said Corporal Hands. “Most dash cams have a very narrow video perspective, whereas the Getac has a wider angle.” Being able to see more within camera shots leads to better incident documentation and enhanced officer safety, he noted. “It’s like having an extra set of eyes.”
He is similarly impressed by GVS’ body-worn cameras, which are both lightweight and highly reliable, “With the Getac, you don’t even feel that you’re even wearing it, which is great because we wear so much stuff around our duty belt already,” said Corporal Hands. Documenting interactions with the public also enhances officer accountability and public trust. “We can go review the video, which does not lie,” he said. “We can either substantiate that allegation or show it to be unfounded, based on what the video shows.”
Results to Date
By upgrading to Getac and GVS equipment, the Frisco PD now has highly capable, reliable computing and video recording technology, with their data being securely hosted and stored by Getac in the cloud. “We wanted a cloud environment system,” said Turner. “We did not want to carry it (data) on our own servers here. That was important.”
Meanwhile, the computer failures that once plagued the FPD have dropped to almost nothing.
“I really didn’t expect, when we first started with Getac, for the failure rates to be as low as they now are,” Turner noted. One of these failures occurred when a patrol car’s console caught fire. Despite the flames, “the Getac unit is actually in pretty good shape,” he said.
When issues do occur, Getac is there to help. “The biggest change with Getac has been having support that is a phone call away,” said Kyle Kassebaum, the FPD’s Public Safety Technician. “They can support and troubleshoot something in the field, or just run through the steps with me over the phone.”
Overall, Frisco PD’s management is very happy with all Getac equipment purchases. “I’d say it’s performed perfectly for us,” Turner said. And he’s not alone in this view: The FPD’s officers are also happy with their new equipment.
“We had them fill out a final evaluation and we asked them if they were spending their money (on this kind of equipment), which company would they pick?” said Turner. “They all picked Getac.”
Watch this video to learn how FPD is working with Getac Video Solutions to meet their goals and strengthen the relationship between officers and the community they serve.
To learn more about Getac Body-Worn Cameras, click here for an assessment.