IBM has developed a digital recording system for police squad cars that will capture sound and video from traffic stops and arrests.
Designed to replace the videotape-based systems used by about 40 percent of police agencies in the United States, the new system can incorporate data from radar guns and information on location determined by a global positioning system.

“The compelling piece is not about digitizing video, but about making it easier to manage the video,” said Gary Crowell, principal consultant with IBM Global Services in its public safety and security division.

The digital-video system consists of a PC, a removable hard drive, and software to record the video. At the station, a large server with up to 3.5 terabytes of storage–about 5,000 hours worth of digital video–will hold all the video collected by police. Officers will check out a hard drive at the beginning of their shift, insert it into the PC in the squad car and then return the hard drive at the end of their shift. On average, a shift will produce two to four hours of video, Crowell said.
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