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Which solution is right for you? Here’s what to consider with pole cameras and more

Individual officers have different needs than tactical teams

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Pole cameras and others from the SWIFT line are designed for fast, easy deployment by single operators.

Tactical Electronics

Sponsored by Tactical Electronics

By John Erich, Police1 BrandFocus Staff

Police departments and their tactical teams can never be too well equipped. But the reality is that money is tight for most in public safety, and few organizations can afford everything they want. That can mean making hard choices.

When you’re talking advanced surveillance equipment, Tactical Electronics has plenty of innovative options to select from. But what’s right for your department’s particular needs? Products from its CORE line or SWIFT line? Pole cameras, flex cameras, under-door cameras or some combination? There are many other tools to help the mission too.

One useful way to think about the company’s options is in an individual vs. team context.

“The CORE system is more designed for teams,” explained Tactical Electronics’ Russ Strozier. “You’d carry it in your vehicle or trunk. The SWIFT line is more geared toward individuals. But both have varying lengths and options that let you customize for your officers’ needs.”

“That’s basically the way I present it to customers,” agreed Curtis Sprague, a veteran LEO who now does outside sales for Tactical Electronics. “If this is your first experience with a pole camera, I’d start with the CORE system for your team. Then, once you have that down and are getting use out of it, start outfitting your individual operators with the SWIFT gear. That’s the way I’d integrate things.”

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The CORE Monitor

Tactical Electronics

To equip such teams in one easy stroke, Tactical Electronics offers its CORE Tactical Kit. This includes CORE Pole and Under Door cameras, a 10- or 17-foot Pole Grip and CORE Monitor. It comes in a tough transport case that individually protects each piece.

For a broader array of tools, the CORE Team Kit includes all CORE cameras and grips along with the monitor. It is packaged similarly. The thermal vision and innovative Thermal Fusion technology of the CORE Pole and Flex cameras prepares users for virtually any situation.

For SWIFT users, the Pole Camera also offers regular and thermal views, and the Flex Camera comes in visible, thermal and dual versions.

Compare your options

While Tactical Electronics offers plenty of information on its website to help guide users’ decisions, the below chart can serve as a handy reference to the capabilities of both lines and their key products.

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Compare key features of both lines’ major products using this chart.

Travel light

Some pole camera kits make it hard to travel light – they’re big, bulky and cumbersome. Tactical Electronics wanted the opposite. Its CORE and SWIFT pole cameras and their related products are small, lightweight and convenient. And the universal nature of its grips makes it easy to prepare both individual CORE users and teams for a range of difficult tactical situations.

“The beauty of the system is its modularity,” said Strozier. “It’s like buying a weed whacker to do your lawn: A lot of them allow you to take the weed whacker attachment off and replace it with an edger or blower. The CORE system is designed the same way. I can use the Pole Camera to make sure it’s safe going up a staircase. Then I come to a closed door, and I can unscrew the Pole Camera head and put the Under Door Camera head on and slide it underneath. I don’t need one guy carrying the weed whacker and another carrying the blower.”

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As easy as all these products are to operate, they – like any equipment, skill or technique used by law enforcement – still require regular training and practice for smooth use when it counts.

Tactical Electronics

“These guys already carry a lot of gear,” added Sprague. “But they want to travel as light as possible, and that’s what we bring to the table. Even folks used to our 17-foot pole camera may find some situations where a smaller version gets the job done and is even easier to get out and into the action and put away when they’re done. So the SWIFT line has been a great complement to the CORE line.”

One caution, though: As easy as all these products are to operate, they – like any equipment, skill or technique used by law enforcement – still require regular training and practice for smooth use when it counts.

Said Sprague: “You have to insert it into your scenario-based training, and you have to become proficient with it. It takes practice. It’s a perishable skill, and if you’re not using the gear and training, you won’t be comfortable with it in a callout. And that’s any technology, not just ours. It needs to be second nature. It’s not enough to just go out and buy the gear and say you have this capability. You have to practice with it and put it to use, or it won’t serve you as well as it could.”

To learn more, visit Tactical Electronics.

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