With tactical pole cameras and scopes, officers can
covertly see and monitor activity behind walls and ceilings, under doors, and
in darkened conditions. The following companies provide a broad range of video
systems and vision solutions that allows tactical team operators to perform
their jobs safely and effectively in time-critical situations.
Brite-Strike Technologies, Inc.
Founded by two
police officers, Brite-Strike is a leading provider of tactical illumination
products for law enforcement, the military, and the general public. The
majority of Brite-Strike employees are active-duty police officers who share
ownership in the company. Their product line for the law enforcement and
military markets extends from LED flashlights and tactical balls to remote
pressure switches and cameras.
has several proprietary technologies, including APALS® (All Purpose Adhesive
Light Strips), LAT™ (Light Absorbing Technology), and the PIISA® (Perimeter
Infrared Intruder Security Alert).
Wireless Tactical Observation Camera is a cost-effective solution for smaller
police departments and SWAT teams operating under tight budgets. It features a 3.5-inch TFT-LCD wireless
monitor with high-definition digital resolution. It can be detached and viewed
remotely up to 30 feet away, allowing officers and operators to covertly
observe and gather intelligence.
The IP67-rated mini waterproof
camera comes with a 3-foot flexible extended tube and offers a night vision
range of 4.92 feet. Equipped with a CMOS image sensor, the camera provides a
transmission frequency of 2468MHz, a 50-degree horizontal view angle, and
operates on 25MHz bandwidth. Its rugged, lightweight ergonomic pistol grip
design makes it easy to handle in challenging conditions.
Brite-Strike does not mass
produce its products for merchant retailers, instead manufacturing in small
batches to ensure meticulous quality control. This allows the company to
continuously incorporate the latest technology to remain a prime leader in the
industry. The TOC-100 is priced at $700, but according to Brite-Strike
President and CEO Glenn Bushee, a number of vendors offer it to law enforcement
agencies for $500.
EyeOn, LLC is
the manufacturer and sole source provider of the EyePole Tactical Surveillance
Pole Camera, a completely self-contained telescoping surveillance tool. EyeOn’s
Under Door Camera (UDC) is designed for use in a broad range of applications
that include law enforcement, SWAT, and search and rescue operations.
attaches to the EyePole with a simple quick disconnect, making the camera heads
interchangeable. The camera head
displays in color and automatically switches to IR for night vision up to 40
feet, providing clear, covert views in rooms with limited ambient light.
An optional Dual Camera option provides back of door views supplied with a
second camera aimed at a 90-degree angle.
Equipped with a compact,
shock-resistant Charge Coupled Device (CCD) camera built into the leading edge
of the camera tongue, the UDC provides high-resolution black-and-white images,
which are transmitted to a monitor outside of the room being investigated.
Other under-the-door devices transmit the image through a series of lenses
which are susceptible to physical damage, misalignment, and limited viewing
capabilities. EyeOn’s Under Door Camera’s black-and-white image sensor with low
light and ultra-low light settings combines sensitivity with resolution, a
capability not found in any other under-the-door device.
An ultra-sensitive microphone
is also available providing audio that can be monitored or recorded from the
audio-out port on the handle of the EyePole. An aluminum “probe” is installed at the camera head to facilitate the
lifting of heavy attic accesses without affecting the camera head angle (90
deg.) A 5-inch LCD monitor is
attached to the EyePole via a tilt/swivel heavy-duty threaded connection.
Controls are located at the handle, and
include the charging port, power switch, audio and video out, and brightness
control. The EyePole requires no assembly; simply remove it from the case and hit the power button.
Mickel, owner of Eyeon, stated, “With the EyePole you get a complete,
load-bearing Pole Camera and Under Door camera due to its interchangeable
camera heads. No field assembly or external wires make it unique for fast and
simple deployment. And yes, it can actually do the heavy lifting.”
Founded in 2005 by President
and Owner, Matt Stehno, S.V.C.I. Tactical provides customized mobile command,
surveillance, and tactical equipment for law enforcement and public safety.
Starting out as a one-man operation, SVCI Tactical has grown into an aspiring
small business that employs six full-time skilled craftsmen, and a number of
part-time staff to handle sales and office management.
In addition to designing and
upfitting vehicle-based equipment solutions for law enforcement, the company
specializes in covert modular IP-based surveillance equipment. The GraviCam
Tactical Self-Leveling Pole Camera System is a specialized tool that utilizes
gravity to keep the camera image in an upright orientation as the tool is
manipulated in use.
The GraviCam features a
lightweight Extend-A-Pole that adjusts from 40 inches to 66 inches and provides
optimal length for viewing residential attics, crawl spaces, and vehicles. Its
compact design and non-slip handle afford greater control and ease of handling.
The high-resolution self-leveling color day/night camera maintains an upright
image orientation while manipulating the pole assembly. Enclosed with
protective HD aluminum, the camera provides 65 feet(?)
of infrared illumination in complete darkness.
The articulating camera mount
allows the camera to be positioned in a wide range of angles and also allows
for easy camera exchange. Equipped with a single-point, quick-release
adjustable nylon strap and a 5- to 10-foot-long coil interface from pole to
monitor, the GraviCam maintains its pole position for extended periods of time
with less fatigue, even with single person operation.
The portable soft side Monitor/Utility
kit includes a 7-inch high-resolution color LCD monitor that can be easily
connected to tactical vests. The pouch features snap-on upper flaps to secure
flaps down, providing an unobstructed view of the screen. A built-in
rechargeable lithium ion battery provides an operational run time of up to
three hours, and the battery charger / power supply unit with 15-foot long cord
continuously powers the system and charges the battery at the same time.
A number of
optional accessories and upgrades are available, such as tripod & clamp
assembly, WIFI wireless system, a 100-foot extension cable spool, 9- to
17-foot-long commercial space clearing pole assembly, and external battery kits
for extended run time of the system. According to Stehno, the GraviCam is a
“very easy tool to utilize in building-clearing movements, as well as
barricade/containment operations.” Pricing on the base kit (GraviCam, Monitor,
Charger/Power Supply, and Pelican 1720 case with foam) is $4,200.
Tactical Electronics has been involved in a wide range of research, design and
manufacturing projects, all mission-specific to tactical operations. They offer
the most versatile, user-friendly search and inspection electronics in the
market, from Pole Cameras to Under Door Cameras to Video Fiberscopes. The PCSS1
Pole Camera Search System is a tactical electronics pole camera that provides
wireless video surveillance and observation of subjects around corners and barriers.
With the highly portable PCSS1,
tactical teams have the ability to view events and persons in any number of
applications, such as hostage rescue and crime scene investigations. The range
of use and environments is endless, and includes schools, attics, high-rise
buildings, parking garages, and under water. It is submersible in up to 30 feet
of water, making it ideal for maritime operations and in poor-visibility
environments. The PCSS1 has the ability to transmit live wireless video of
tactical operations directly to the monitor, allowing for after-action
reviewing and archiving.
The PCSS1 Pole Cam is equipped
with multiple ‘quick-change’ extensions and flexible rotating waterproof camera
heads for viewing orientation in any scenario. Weighing less than three pounds,
the system features a collapsed length of 23 inches, an extended length of 80
inches, and a quick change extension length of 20 inches. Both the color and
B/W cameras come equipped with IR LEDs for low-light environments. An optional
custom thermal camera is also available. Heavy duty and rigid, it can also be
used for pushing up ceiling tiles and opening attic doors.
The kit also comes with a hard
wire cable compatible with the Handheld Monitor and a rugged Storm Case® with
precision-cut foam for safe transport. The SD card recording option
incorporates an internal mini DVR, and the camera system records real-time
video of live operations and training scenarios directly to a high-capacity SD
card. Four 3V Lithium batteries provide up to eight hours of runtime.
TacView, Inc. was formed in
2002 by George T. Gilmer, a 23-year veteran police officer. Sgt. Gilmer is a
former academy training instructor, D.A.R.E. officer, and tactical team member
who served in patrol, narcotics, and crime scene investigation. In the
Narcotics Division, Gilmer was in charge of procuring and operating the unit’s
electronic surveillance equipment, handling the narcotic detector dog, working
under cover, and writing search warrants. From this experience, he developed
the TacView, a small camera with 24 IR diodes attached to a telescopic pole.
After the development of many prototypes, Gilmer felt compelled to share this
equipment with other officers at the lowest possible cost.
The TacView® 2600 is equipped
with a pole that extends up to a second story window, allowing officers to look
into an area without exposing their faces. With IR and color capabilities, the
TacView can search in daylight or total darkness. With optional FLIR® devices,
it allows thermal imaging to also be mounted on the pole. This lightweight
telescopic infrared/color camera collapses to fit in a rifle case, and uses
rechargeable or AA batteries.
The TacView also comes with a
color monitor, carrying case, and 100 feet of extension cable for remote
viewing. Clamps are included for mounting the camera head covertly or onto the
top of a ballistic shield. A harness is provided to allow the monitor to be
worn on the chest or back of the operator with a spring clamp for quick
mounting to a load-bearing vest.
In 2012, the TacView pole
camera was used to search the apartment of suspect James Egan Holmes after he
opened fire on the audience in an Aurora, Colo. movie theater. Based on
information that Holmes’ apartment was booby-trapped with explosive devices, a
joint local and federal bomb squad was dispatched to the apartment complex.
Perched on the platform of a fire truck, they were able to extend the camera
and see into the third story window before entering the apartment without
detonating the devices.
Feedback from police agencies
and tactical teams that use the TacView 2600 is overwhelmingly positive.
According to Sgt. Ralph Monget, SWAT Team Commander for the Las Cruces, N.M.
Police Department, the TacView has paid for itself several times over. “Since
receiving this pole camera, it has been deployed with my team on multiple
operations and has saved many officers from having to stick their head into an
unknown area with armed persons on the other side.”
Dean Michael, CIDUSM/Task Force
Coordinator for the USMS Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force said that
the device has surpassed their expectations. “On countless occasions, we have
been able to insert the unit into a darkened attic enabling us to view a
suspect who incorrectly believed that he was adequately hidden. For years, I
have always dreaded sticking my head into a darkened attic. Now, with the use
of your equipment, those days are gone.” TacView 2600 is priced at $2,995. The
compact Patrol Version is $1,995.
Zistos is a leader in the
development of cutting-edge technologies that enable trained personnel to see
and gain access into areas often considered inaccessible. Among the company’s
more notable pioneering innovations is their core imaging capabilities that include
thermal imaging, low-light video technologies (electronic intensifiers),
cutting-edge illumination sources, and engineered systems designed for
dependable rapid deployment. Implemented in tactical, rescue,
counter-terrorism, and industrial operations, Zistos products are customized to
meet precise client specifications to ensure increased safety in time-critical
for tactical surveillance applications, the new Zistos StealthSCOPE™ is a
videoscope that combines a powerful internal 980nm IR laser light source—completely
invisible to humans—with electronically enhanced, low-light video processing.
Its 9mm diameter allows it to be inserted into small openings and tight areas,
generating images of objects and individuals as far as 20 feet away in pitch
darkness. This battery-powered device has a built-in high resolution monocular
video display and offers lightweight and highly portable standalone operation.
is equipped with an integrated high-resolution OLED monocular that allows users
to view images without additional display hardware. A larger LCD monitor can be
plugged into the scope so several people can view the image simultaneously.
StealthSCOPE features a four-way, articulating tip and a submersible,
semi-rigid, flex-and-stay guide tube that holds its shape for safe and easy
viewing around corners, over walls, under doors, and inside vents and ceilings.
The internal, field-swappable, rechargeable lithium ion battery provides all
needed power, and features a quick-glance battery power indicator, even when
covert viewing into rooms that are locked or barricaded, the Zistos® Dual View
Under-the-Door Camera (ZDV)—along with detachable pole with universal joint—affords
safe deployment and horizontal panning of any room. The illumination control on
the WalkAbout selects which view to display, and the camera requires only
¼-inch (6.0mm) door-to-floor clearance.
integration electronics and IR illumination provide superior images (up to 20
feet, 6M) in total darkness. An integrated miniature microphone adds audio with
enhanced circuitry that amplifies low sounds while suppressing loud sounds. The
under door camera is also available in a more affordable model with a single
(forward-looking only) view.
Susan Geoghegan is a freelance
writer living in Naples, Fla. She can be reached at email@example.com.