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TANDBERG video solution reduces costs

Written by Grant Hawkins

TANDBERG’s video solution can reduce your agency overhead and free up departmental resources through streamlining everyday processes. Agencies across the United States are utilizing this video conferencing service to reduce prisoner transport cost, increase officer safety, promote family contact with prisoners, and increase training and supervision of public safety personnel. Today more than ever before, the public safety and judicial system is challenged with prison overcrowding, rights of prisoners, safety and prisoner transport costs. As budget constraints face almost every U.S. city, new solutions are needed to maintain the integrity of the judicial system.

Video conferencing is not new to public safety. Similar programs rely on a Web-based platform, which requires the Internet to be working for the software to be useable. TANDBERG’s infrastructure is a series of products that sits in the network and provides features and functions to the endpoint units. Essentially, it allows the endpoints to act like phones and ensure reliability.

Integrating the TANDBERG video solution will streamline everyday procedures and reduce costs substantially. As state and county prison systems span many miles, parole boards, victims and their families are tasked with traveling great distances to conduct parole hearings for prisoners. By incorporating a video solution at each prison location, parole boards are able to video conference with the offender, victims and their families from various locations, ultimately saving costs for each party.

First appearance hearings have consistently been a challenge for jurisdictions as they transport, at times, hundreds of prisoners each day from the jail to the courthouse and back. Not only is this costly, but it places the staff and general public at an increased risk. Through utilization of the TANDBERG video conferencing solution, judges are able to conduct first appearance hearings from their chambers while inmates are securely detained at the jail. This not only reduces the amount of staff time and resources used in transporting the prisoners, but it also reduces the risk of a potentially dangerous inmate escaping or being injured during transport.

Medical care of prisoners is a priority for jail administrators, but doctors sometimes feel their safety is at risk as they attempt to diagnose sick prisoners. In addition, slow response times may occur as doctors are called in to the jail on a case-by-case basis. In some cities and counties, prison staff transports each sick prisoner to a medical unit within the local hospital where the prisoner waits sometimes hours to be seen. A TANDBERG video solution allows a small medical team to assess each patient from its office and determine if further medical attention is needed. In some cases, medications can be prescribed and administered by a medical team within the facility. This allows one physician to serve multiple locations and provide a quicker response time, thus enhancing the overall safety and health of both the prisoner and the staff. Allowing family and friends to visit with correctional facility inmates is an important part of the rehabilitation process. However, while visitations are important, they also increase the chance that contraband may be passed on to the inmates. One way jurisdictions have combated this challenge is through using the TANDBERG video solution to facilitate the visitations. This allows the facility to monitor the conversations and also to control the interaction between the visitors and the correctional facility inmate.

Police and parole personnel can be spread out among many different facilities, making regular interaction nearly impossible. The TANDBERG video solution allows a centralized administrator to interact with employees on a regular basis through staff meetings, in-service trainings and announcements. Not only is this useful for administrators, but it can also reduce the overall training cost for the department. Each year, prison and jail personnel must complete a set number of training hours to meet the certification requirements set by each state. As states, counties and cities are reducing their budgets, employees are no longer able to travel out of town for trainings. By using remote trainings through the video solution, one instructor is able to conduct trainings with classes remotely, answer questions, and provide feedback to the trainees. This reduces the cost of travel for employees and increases the amount of training opportunities available to them.

Police officers are often tasked with obtaining search warrants and arrest warrants from judges. As crimes occur, warrants must be secured quickly to prevent the loss of evidence or the suspect from leaving. While the need to quickly obtain the warrant is crucial, the process can be slowed down by officers being required to present this information in person, in front of a judge, to get a warrant. Police departments across the country have implemented the TANDBERG video solution to help with this process. Judges and officers communicate through the camera infrastructure and are able to validate arrest warrants more quickly and efficiently, resulting in crimes being solved faster and with fewer resources. TANDBERG offers a durable solution for departments that is easy for personnel to use.

Departments that are facing reduced budgets and want to increase officer safety should consider this system an essential component to their public safety platform.

Grant Hawkins is a former law enforcement officer working as the director of programs for the Atlanta Police Foundation. He can be reached at grant.m.hawkins@gmail.com.

Published in Public Safety IT, Mar/Apr 2010

Rating : 9.5


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