The Panasonic Arbitrator is a leading digital evidence collection and management platform most commonly used in law enforcement vehicles, as a wearable camera and in static environments (e.g. interview rooms, sally ports and intoxilyzer rooms).  After dozens of successful and ongoing implementations, I’ve come to appreciate the Arbitrator for its customizability and dynamic back-end software.  Because no two agencies are the same, the Arbitrator system can be customized to the organization’s structure, policies, standard operating procedures and goals.  The Arbitrator’s powerful back-end digital evidence management software allows secure, Active Directory, rights-based access to the evidence.

The Case

The Arbitrator platform is a long-term investment.  The breadth and depth of the system’s functionality cannot be covered by the collective sales and implementation process.  The goal of the go-live implementation training and knowledge transfer engagement is to configure the Arbitrator system to mirror the expectations of the agency and to hand over the skillset for basic administration. To more fully realize the value of the Arbitrator, it is vital to evolve the relationship between the customer and their Panasonic Arbitrator Certified Integrator.

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Discover the Arbitrator’s A-Game

It is a hard truth that most law enforcement agencies purchase a simpler version of the Arbitrator than they intend to eventually put into production.  Our public safety agencies are often subject to budgetary limitations that require them to minimize, delay or even forgo needed investments.  They count on alternative funding sources – grants, seizure funds – or extend the purchase over multiple fiscal years in order to secure the additional Arbitrator functionality they need to meet their constituent’s expectations, and enhance officer safety and effectiveness in the field.

There’s a chance you might be well versed in the basics of the Arbitrator system.  You’re probably less familiar with some of the advanced features and functions the system is capable of, many of which are available out of the box at no additional cost.  Your Panasonic Arbitrator Certified Integrator is your go-to expert to guide you through incorporating these advanced functions into your agency.  Here are a few capabilities to consider as your investment in Arbitrator evolves over time:

  • Live streaming – The Arbitrator is capable of streaming live video to any authorized user at any location.  Video can be streamed from any of the system’s cameras at various levels of quality.  The normally red recording LED can be set to glow blue during streaming or the streaming could take place covertly.
  • The body microphone’s auxiliary button – The newest body-worn microphone has a large button labeled “Auxiliary.”  The function of this button can be customized to affect many components in and around the police vehicle that can receive a wireless electronic signal.  For example, the auxiliary button could be programmed to open a K-9 door, release a gun lock or pop the trunk.
  • Digital evidence import – One of the most impactful but least used features, the Arbitrator back-end digital evidence management software, allows agencies to import other forms of digital evidence into the Arbitrator back-end system.  Non-Arbitrator video files, images from the scene, cell phone pictures of bystanders, court documents, PDF’s, etc. can all be imported into the back-end software then categorized – including assigning a searchable case file number – like any other Arbitrator evidence.
  • Radar integration – Most radar systems can be integrated into the Arbitrator platform to trigger a video recording, yielding key evidence in court.
  • Sharing evidence – Law enforcement officers, district attorney’s and the like, can be granted secure network access to videos to be viewed on their own devices, workstations and remote offices.  Once users are familiar with instant, secure, remote access to the evidence, requests for DVD’s tend to disappear.
  • Battery backup – Available as an option on past Arbitrator models, the Panasonic Arbitrator 360 HD comes standard with battery backup.  This ensures the evidence is captured even if the system’s connection to the car battery is compromised.
  • Continuous recording – The Arbitrator 360 HD has two SSD bays.  This assigns one SSD for triggered recordings while allowing the second to record continuously in the background.  This enables “flash back” to an earlier time to review an event that was not captured otherwise.
  • Camera configuration – The Arbitrator allows up to five cameras in order to secure a 360-degree view around the vehicle and the back seat.  In combination with continuous recording and/or live streaming, the vehicle becomes an effective situational awareness and surveillance asset.
  • G-force sensor – Available as an option, the g-force sensor allows a recording to be triggered via a six-axis accelerometer.

Feel free to add comments below or follow me on Twitter at @mattparnofiello.

2 thoughts on “Unlocking the Panasonic Arbitrator’s Advanced Capabilities

  • I work with a police service that uses Arbitrator. We are having issues with the live streaming. specifically, choppy video, long pauses, etc. Can you make any recommendations regarding the set up and equipment to remedy these issues? is it just a matter of a better desktop that we are viewing it on? we have adjusted the quality settings with arbitrator while live streaming but it doesn’t seem to help. Thanks in advance.

    • Daniel Carrier says:

      Most likely need a faster processor. I think the system minimum is 1GHz. Most of the mark 4 and previous Toughbooks processors are 1 GHz or 1.2 GHz with turbo boost to 2 GHz. But that may not be sufficient. I have a mark 4 with a first generation I five processor. I believe there are like eight marks or versions of the Panasonic tough book. I think those system requirements are for the earlier versions of the arbitrator. Hard saying not knowing but that’s my guess

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