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In-Car Video System Testimonials/Reviews

If you're looking for non-law enforcement in-car video systems testimonials or reviews, click here.

“We just go these all installed last week, we had a robbery and high speed chase that ended with the suspect crashing into a father and son, critically injuring them.

I was nervous all the way to the office, as to what the video would look like. The video was amazing, I am incredibly impressed with this unit. This will be the piece of evidence that puts this guy away for at least 40 years.

Definitely a great buy, and I also love the VuVault software.

Great product!”

Joel D. Scharf - Chief of Police
Big Lake Police Department

“Thank you. I finally got a car that has a good camera system after 15 years of being a cop. To call it just a "camera system" is a gross understatement.

I have been chomping at the bit to get one of our new Dodge Chargers for a while and the camera system is one of the biggest reasons. I/we have had other systems and have been disappointed. Well, no longer! Thank you all.”

Sgt. J.B. Swain
City of Snellville Police Department

“During the past year, we have had a demo unit installed in Trooper J. Ivy’s vehicle and it has worked flawlessly. He loves the system and I love the fact that it has been worry free.

I have not had to do anything to it, while the 8MM units from another company have constantly been in and out of the shop for a variety of issues.

I would strongly recommend this unit to any agency that is contemplating purchase of in car video.

I want to thank you and all of your staff for the excellent support and opportunity to try this system.”

Landon Carpenter, RCT3
Support Services Section
Tennessee Highway Patrol

“Thank you, I appreciate the support that you provide with you product. I have a part time officer that works for a bigger agency and they just purchased a video recording system that is very expensive. He likes the quality of our system much better than their expensive system. Now he knows how you are committed to stand by your product. Any one who asks me will be told Digital Ally is the way to go. Thanks again.”

Thomas E. Dornbrook
Chief of Police
Brandon-Fairwater Police Dept.

“I would like to take this opportunity to tell you how much we appreciate the products of Digital Ally. Your in car video camera system has met or exceeded all of our expectations for an affordable and dependable digital video system. Your system is very easy to install in the squad cars, and is user friendly for the officers. It gives exceptional quality of videos. The digital system is very easy to download to a standard PC computer and makes it simple to make copies of the evidence when needed, for use by the courts or upon attorney requests. We have used your system for almost a year now in all types of weather conditions and extremes in hot or cold temperatures. It works excellently, and has eliminated the down time that we had before with other more expensive VHS equipment, that was considered to be the standard of the industry...

...I would like to end by saying thank you for your technological support that provides updates to the equipment. We have never felt with your company that we purchased something and was left to fend for ourselves or had to figure it out on our own. It means a lot to us to have direct corporate product communication if needed only a phone call away.

Please feel free to use me as a reference for any of your product line if needed. It is a pleasure to purchase equipment and have it work right out of the box to meet our needs.”

Kenneth R. Ketzler
Chief of Police
Decatur Police Department

“I did the install of this system in one of my agency patrol cars and was surprised to find how easy it was to not only install, which took me about three hours, but the configuration and operation was just as simple. This was my first installation and Digital Ally claims that most installs are performed in an hour or less. The included instructions walk you through every step of the process.

There are a number of features that I find to be of great value...”

Click Here to Read the Full Review

Review By Steve Forgues
Since 1993, Steve has worked contract security, police, corrections and tactical operations. Besides being a police officer, Steve also volunteers with a local fire department. In 2005, Steve decided to put his experience in law enforcement to greater use and started writing law enforcement related articles, to benefit his fellow officer's around the world.

“Several years ago our department began researching an alternative to the in-car camera system that we were using. I was not satisfied with the price or performance of the existing system. It seemed that the cameras were spending more time being repaired than being used, and the repair costs were unreasonable. In addition, the transfer of data from one media to another was cumbersome, at best. Vaults in the trunks took up valuable storage space.

At an I.A.C.P. conference I happened upon the Digital Ally booth. After speaking with a representative for just a few minutes it became clear that the technology made sense. The small amount of space the system required, as well as the ease and the economy of installation, was very appealing. After completing our research I placed the order for our first group of Digital Ally in-car cameras. A short time later we received our order and we began installing them in our cars.

To say I am pleased with Digital Ally’s performance is an understatement. The camera systems have operated almost flawlessly. The few minor problems that we experienced in the beginning were quickly addressed and they have worked extremely well since.

After looking at all of the in-car systems on the market I am confident that we made the best decision. Comparing price, ease of installation, dependability and user-friendliness, nothing else came close.

I am well pleased with Digital Ally, and would recommend them to anyone.”

Chief Jeff Wesley
Denham Springs Police Department

In-car video system helps win awards"I would like to take this opportunity to thank Digital Ally for making what I think is the best video unit on the market, the DVM 500. We tried all the best known video units out and purchased a DVM 500. The regional sales representative Troy McCoy was great. He came out to our agency and trained us with the unit. Anything we needed, he helped us. He gave us his cell number and answer questions on the weekend. You could not get better service than that. I have won many traffic court cases now due to the unit and its quality video. I’m able to play the traffic stop back on my laptop in court for all to see. My D.U.I. cases have improved as well. The rear camera hidden in the mirror with mic. has shown the State Attorney the evidence for convictions. The tech support is great. They loaded programs and switched information on our department computer via the internet. The video unit shows the radar unit on the display for playback for the court. The unit comes with GPS standard, other units GPS is an option. I’m truly impressed by this product, the DVM 500.

I have the best news to tell you. Because of your video unit our Agency placed 1st in Municipal Police Category One. I was awarded Officer of the Year for the entire State of Florida by the Florida Law Enforcement Challenge."

Lt. Steven Donaldson
Hampton Police Dept.

"We at the Marengo Police Department have been using the Digital Ally camera system since August, 2006 in all of our squad cars. After previewing several new camera systems, we decided on Digital Ally because of the ease of use, security of video preservation, and all of the features that our Department felt necessary for an in-squad video system. As expected, Digital Ally has met these needs.

The software used back in the office for storing the video files is easy to operate and our City attorneys have come to expect clear video and audio to aid in the prosecution of those charged. Our patrol officers rely on the camera system for their everyday duties, including establishing probable cause where the cameras have exonerated our officers from baseless complaints, both on reasons for the stop and accused poor attitude. Needless to say, convictions are up and false complaints are down.

The support that the Marengo Police Department has received from the Digital Ally staff has also been excellent. As with all new equipment there is a learning process. The support, patience and service that we have received from Digital Ally has been second to none. We here at the Marengo Police Department have come to rely on the cameras more and more every day."

Sergeant Paul Fritz
Marengo Police Department

"In 1990, Upper Allen Township Police Department was the first agency in South Central PA to install Mobile Video Recorders in all patrol cars. In 2005 a decision was made to upgrade all units which were VHS technology with current digital technology units.

After visiting all of the vendors at the 2005 IACP conference offering mobile video units a decision, which I regret, was made to go with units from a competitor even though I liked the Digital Ally units better. My concern was that Digital Ally units were not out in the field long enough for me to feel comfortable with their dependability.

After installing two of your competitors digital units and having nothing but problems with not only the unit but also the lack of customer service, I revisited the subject and re-evaluated the Digital Ally units.

In 2007 I made the decision to replace all seven (7) MVR units with Digital Ally units, including your competitor’s new units costing several thousand dollars more.

From end user to my Forensic Photography Specialists who are responsible for downloading and storing data to my Patrol Sergeants who review the recordings, everyone is pleased with not only the units being user friendly but also the software and the many features Digital Ally offers.

From my perspective, Digital Ally and Jim Coleman, my local Digital Ally Representative, truly understand customer service. With any new technology there is a learning curve and Digital Ally personnel and Jim Coleman have been very supportive and immediately address any question or concern that my staff has had.

I am very pleased with Digital Ally and would recommend them to anyone considering the purchase of mobile recording units for their patrol cars. If anyone reading this letter has any questions or would like additional information concerning the experiences I have had with Digital Ally, please feel free to contact me."

James Adams
Chief of Police
Upper Allen Township Police Department

"The Farmington Police Department only recently purchased digital cameras from Digital Ally, and we believe that we couldn't really be much happier. These cameras have been a huge hit with our officers. It seems to be one of the better equipment purchases we have made recently. I share your enthusiasm for quality video "in cars" and we are convinced we have made some wise purchases in these cameras.

And thanks for the sharing of your convictions of your product. Your priorities are certainly where they should be. Taking care of our officers with quality equipment is always the only choice for good police leaders."

Chief Jim Arringon
Farmington Police Department

“On Friday night, March 27, 2009…Perry County Sheriff’s Office dispatcher Rob Stallings contacted Chief Garver via radio to inquire if a particular street was in Thornville’s jurisdiction. He then indicated he has a male caller on 9-1-1 who is possibly in Thornville, and is likely having a heart attack, complaining of severe chest pain and difficulty breathing.

...Although the Perry County Sheriff’s Office was able to obtain the GPS coordinates via Fairfield County’s E911 system, the closest PCSO could pinpoint using their software was in the area of Zartman Road, which is approximately ½ mile away. A combination of the Digital Ally camera system and [a] thermal imager made locating the victim…possible.”

Sent by the Thornville Police Department
Read the entire news story here.

Go To In-Car Video System Product Pages

If you're looking for non-law enforcement in-car video systems testimonials or reviews, click here.

FirstVu Body Cam Series of Officer-Worn Video Systems Testimonials/Reviews

"In general, I believe it makes law enforcement more accountable and it also makes us more transparent. That’s exactly what we’re striving to be — as transparent as possible.

The reason we bought these particular cameras is because we use Digital Ally dash cams in our cars and any time you turn on the blue lights, the dash cam automatically comes on. By purchasing the Digital Ally body cams, they’re also activated when you turn on the blue lights, so they automatically come on."

Chief Charlie Sewell
Powder Springs Police Department

"[The FirstVu HD] meets all needs. Dependability, clarity, user friendly, long record times, durable equipment. All the officers wear them when making contact with the public. We haven’t really used them in a major situation yet, but it gives us a sense of security. It will help us in cutting down and/or validating complaints."

Police Department in Oklahoma

"We used a much less expensive camera in the past but found that they weren't durable enough for the rigors of daily use by our road deputies and the video quality wasn't very good. The price may seem high, but they are well worth it if they prevent one lawsuit and/or increase accountability.

A few years ago a ruling was made which requires all questioning of suspects to be video-recorded. We usually question suspects in one of our interview rooms, but these cameras keep us within the law when we can't take a suspect to the Sheriff's Office." continue reading or read more...

Chief Deputy Gambill
Clay County Sheriff’s Department

"Following inquiries of other law enforcement agencies as well as our own research, we determined the product Digital Ally was selling was well worth the price. All uniformed officers working are expected to wear the body camera during their respected tour of duty. Since the program started, our officer complaints have dropped almost 50%. We have also used the product to contradict the false statements of those who have filed complaints in many cases. [The FirstVu HD] works great in all weather conditions and in most limited light settings."

Police Department in North Carolina

"We started off with a couple of cameras from Taser, but they didn’t meet our expectations, so we switched to Digital Ally, and they seem to be working good. The quality of the picture is way better..." continue reading...

Chief Matt Mansell
Pacific Police Department

"We were looking for a small compact design with a long battery life. Also an external battery so that it can be changed during shift. Being a motorcycle officer and writing citations, complaints come in. Well, these complaints are handled quickly and are found unfounded very fast. Just recently had a use of force incident which was captured on the camera. There was no question that the subject resisted."

Police Department in Florida

"Our agency has deployed the [FirstVu HD] recently and have had numerous officers wear it while on patrol or performing traffic duties. I have found the unit to be very reliable as well as the video and audio quality extremely good... I would recommend other agencies try this unit if they are looking for a body worn camera."

Sgt. R.D. Gregory
Lake Mary Police Department

"I was looking for a compact unit, that was simple to use but worked well. Your product has met all of my requirements flawlessly. Every patrol officer wears one, mandatory and in policy. It provides a sense of security to my officers and to my command staff. We were using these long before Ferguson. It has reduced the number of complaints against officers when people know they are being recorded they tend to act differently. We were using Vulink prior to the new body cams coming out so we were ahead of the game. We have always used Digital Ally for our in car camera systems and have always enjoyed great customer service and product reliability."

Police Department in Missouri

"We're able to spot evidence, even in the videos. Every once in a while we'll see something in the vehicle that the officer didn't see. So they're great for us. If there's any dispute later, or somebody recants on the statement that they give, we have it right there on video.

As opposed to somebody filming us doing something, now we have our own film that's going to completely cover everything we need to from a legal standpoint. You're going to hear exactly what he hears and see what he sees. [It will be used] to protect the officers, to protect the crime scene and to document evidence."

Chief Greg Hallgrimson
Greenwood Police Department

"We were looking for compatibility with the in car camera system software, ease of use (Only one button), small size to reduce uniform and gear weight, and all around simplicity. Digital Ally had what I wanted. All officers are equipped with either a DVM-500+ or DVM-800 and a FirstVu HD, myself included. Body cameras have reduced officer to subject/suspect confrontations significantly, reduced complaints of officer misconduct drastically, and have provided a peace of mind for the officers that is unmeasurable. It has turned our usual belligerent, small town gossip/rumor mongers and bold face liars, into compliant and manageable individuals. It works better than could be expected. We use the VuLink in each car, in-car video linking and the charging docks. VuLink is priceless. Thus far the video management system has been a great asset to me as the chief with the ease of access and to the officers who download their videos through the system and have instant access to their videos to complete reports and gather evidence."

Police Department in Missouri

"About 95% of officers wearing them were exonerated during internal affairs investigations if they had it on video. We've only had them on the streets for less than two weeks and we've already seen that happen here. We had a complaint about an officer being discourteous and treating a female as a second class citizen basically. We were able to watch the video and show that was not the case. Then actually call her and say your statements were inaccurate and we have the video to back that up..." continue reading...

"With the video of one of the complaints, it was only seven minutes. It took the internal affairs seven minutes to end the investigation."

Sgt. Jason Clegg
Evansville Police Department

"After 3-4 weeks, we determined [the FirstVu HD] met our needs with “user friendly”, dependable, and reliable. Customer service has been excellent. All Officers are required to wear the body camera, and the record mode is to be activated with all citizen contacts. Right now I am training a new Officer, the camera has been an excellent training tool for the new recruit, he can see his actual mistakes."

Police Department in Indiana

"We have used [the FirstVu HD] in multiple arrests. This is a great and inexpensive way to have video. The department really likes the product, particularly the size and ease of use to turn on and off."

Police Department in Pennsylvania

Why did you choose Digital Ally’s FirstVu HD Body Cameras?
"Easy to use, compact camera, full shift battery life, full shift memory capacity, price. All patrol officers use them in any call for service. Our cameras have countered several officer complaints, added an independent witness and work very good."

What do you like best about our video management and storage solution?
"Easy to use and auto deletion feature."

Police Department in Florida

"It’s an invaluable tool. I love having the video, I would not want to work without one. It has exonerated me, [but] wearing it has never gotten me into trouble..." continue reading...

Sgt. Chad Wilderdyke
Clay County Sheriff’s Department

"It's a safety aspect for us and the public. You don't notice it's there, but you feel more protected when you have it with you because you have a constant (recording) of what you say and what the public says."
Officer Chris Morgan

"It's been an enormous tool for us both practically as far as the benefits we get from it and because these officers feel more confident doing their job having these cameras." continue reading...
Lt. Brad Flynn
Helena Police Department

"We like the ability to link in-car video and the body camera in one location for video management purposes. From an administration standpoint, we are able to store all video in one location, making it quicker to burn video for court."

Police Department in Kansas

"With today's technology on our cars, we can expand...the documentation of the interaction between deputies and the public by going from just having cameras in cars to placing body cameras on officers. It will augment what we are already doing. Looking at communities that have already invested in this type of technology, they have seen complaints decrease on law enforcement officers as well as use of force. If the community knows that they are being recorded, people tend to act a little differently — on both sides." continue reading...

Sheriff Billy Sollie
Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Department

"It was good for court to prove what had happened. We have video of our contact with people. Complaints have been down, either because people know they are recorded or the officer knows. Easy to use once I learned how."

Police Department in Missouri

"I recognize the importance of video in law enforcement and I am not about to wait around for my agency to purchase something as important as this. I currently own the FirstVu (first generation) that I use as my dash camera and a VieVu that I wear on my uniform. I have tested the Taser Axon Flex but there were certain aspects of it that made it difficult for a single user so I didn't purchase it. Plus the audio was not so good.

I am trying my best to get my department to make the move toward video but with an agency as large as ours, and as broke as ours, it's a tough challenge... When our department finally decides to move on a video system, I'm hoping I will have enough video experience to help push us in the direction that will be the most beneficial.

I will go ahead and purchase the [FirstVu HD] unit I already have... audio is a lot better than the VieVu audio [and] the pre-event capability is the selling factor for me."

Laser Ally Handheld LIDAR Testimonials/Reviews

"The lightest of the frontline models tested—five ounces less than the next-lightest Kustom ProLaser 4—the Laser Ally runs on two C-cell batteries. Its red HUD reticle is a hollow rectangle that doesn't obscure a distant target. Either speed or range is displayed in the HUD, but not both at once.

The back of the case sports a blue-backlit LCD screen flanked by six buttons that control all operations. The latter are emblazoned with easily interpreted pictograms, and I found its menu system to be the most intuitive of the group.

To illustrate this simplicity, on the quick-start guide that accompanies the Laser Ally, all of the essentials are found on a single envelope-size laminated sheet. For more details, a consultation with the operator manual CD is required.

Unique features: Obstructed mode instructs the laser to ignore an object partially blocking the beam. Others use conventional range-gating, setting a minimum distance that must be exceeded before speeds are displayed. In contrast, the Laser Ally records and stores the range to the obstruction, a tree branch, for instance. Then it ignores only the branch while showing speeds for more-distant targets.

This unit was the only frontline model tested that proved impervious to laser detectors and jammers. Although not widely used, some high rollers employ both of these countermeasures. But in squaring off against the popular Escort ZR4 laser jammer, the Laser Ally willingly displayed speeds while showing no ill effects from the device. Of equal note is that the ZR4 was unable to detect the Laser Ally, allowing the laser operator an extended opportunity to take speed measurements.

In its Normal mode the Laser Ally was the least affected by patrol vehicle side glass, roadside foliage, and vegetation. With Weather and Obstructed modes also on call, this unit has the widest array of tools to combat commonly encountered obstructions.

Its audio was arguably the best of the group: a low-pitched growl for quality as it acquires a target, a high-pitched tone to verify that the speed is locked.

The Laser Ally proved quick and fast-pointing, showing good tolerance for operator shake. Its performance was also the best of the group, eking out a tiny lead over the Stalker.

Verdict: Intuitive, simple controls; quick handling; sophisticated signal processing, class-leading range; an unusually well-developed piece of gear."

Review by Craig Peterson for Police Magazine
Mr. Peterson is a Mesa, Ariz.-based writer specializing in speed-measuring technology, mobile electronics, vehicles, and EVOC training. He is an IPTM-certified radar instructor with 22 years' experience.

Police & Security News LIDAR Speed Gun Range Test Results
Originally Published in the Sept/Oct. 2012 Issue

LIDAR-Laser Speed Gun Range Test Results

LIDAR-Laser Speed Gun Range Test Results

Go To The Laser Ally Product Page

"In the evolution of speed monitoring, the introduction of lidar in the last few years has allowed for pinpoint accuracy at long distances—something conventional radar units can't do because of the physical limitations THE3RDDEGREE > of strength and wavelength concentration.

Recently, the makers of the Digital Ally video capture systems handed me their most popular lidar model—the Laser Ally—to test. It's one of many lidar units the company offers, but is considered more of a "bread-and-butter" model.

To get a sense of its capabilities in the real world, I set up a controlled evaluation and let the unit do the talking. But before I get to the results, let's review the specifications of the Laser Ally.

Specifications

The unit comes equipped with a bevy of options, and weighs a reasonable 2.5 lbs. Featuring a Class 1 laser, the Ally is rated to be accurate +/- 1 mph up to 6,000 feet in range, with an acquisition time of 1/3 second.

Technical accuracy is listed by Laser Ally as a beam spread of 2.5 feet at 1,000 feet, with distance accuracy of +/- .5 feet at one Sigma. Minimum operating range varies from 10–250 feet, depending on the mode selected.

The unit also features a unique obstruction mode, allowing it to be used around material such as chain-link fences and tree limbs. There's also a weather and range mode, and readings can be measured in approaching, receding and distance-over-time applications.

The Ally operates on two C batteries that last approximately 25 hours. The adjustable "power save" mode can be activated to further extend battery life.

Dimensionally, the Ally is about the size of a standard hand-held radar gun, and is easiest to hold two-handed.

Once locked onto a target, the reading in mph and feet is displayed on a high-resolution matrix display on the back of the unit, with the speed also displayed in the top viewfinder. The heads-up aiming unit is large and displays true-colors, making it easy to lock the red laser-aiming reticle on an approaching target.

The rest of the unit is encased in a shock-resistant, floating, internal, aluminum, optical bench structure with four-point external rubber cushions, which should make it durable throughout the long haul. The handle on the bottom of the unit is a good size and holds the batteries. It's also waterproof.

Field Test

But the proof is in the pudding. I conducted a controlled test alongside a rural road outside Phoenix in order to find out how the Laser Ally performed.

Specifically, it was a level, four-lane road with a divided median, with no obstructions lining the roadway between my location and the acquisition point approximately 900 feet away. Although the Laser Ally is rated to 6,000 feet, my chosen distance was consistent with my experience in speed enforcement. It allowed enough time for clear target identification, acquisition and theoretical apprehension.

The posted speed limit was 50 mph and my position was within 20 feet of the roadway edge. I chose to lock onto approaching vehicles in the No. 2 travel lane, minimizing any angular distortion. It was Saturday morning and traffic flow consisted of packs of four to five vehicles every minute or two. The 100-degree weather was clear.

I performed approximately 15–20 readings on the Ally to get used to it, with the clocking parameters set to "approach" at maximum range. Once familiarized, I recorded 15 clocks. I chose vehicles of various sizes, colors and shapes, though with the laser unit, it didn't seem to matter given the aforementioned beam spread of 2.5 feet at 1,000 feet.

Upon conclusion and after tallying the numbers, some performance indicators were clear. First, the average lock-on distance for the Ally was 638 feet, with target acquisition time of less than one second to three seconds long. The large heads-up display made it easy to identify targets and, ergonomically speaking, the unit was comfortable and easy to hold with a two-handed grip. All displays were easy to read, even in bright sunlight. The audio tones were also easy to hear and helpful.

Summary

Overall, I was impressed with the Laser Ally. Even though 6,000 feet might be too long for realistic targeting, the capability is there, and that's impressive. If your department works an area where waterproofing is a necessity and the size of the unit isn't an issue, the Laser Ally makes a solid and impressively intuitive choice."

Review by Law Officer's Cruiser Corner columnist, JP Molnar

"I’ve been tinkering lately with the Digital Ally Laser Ally LIDAR unit, and want to share some observations I think merit attention in this space. I have to say that I think this device is pretty outstanding.

The Digital Ally Laser Ally LIDAR is light, rugged, and incredibly easy to use. In fact, to borrow a phrase, it’s so easy even a website editor can use it.

I failed to get it to fail.

Dark, Wet, and Obstructed
I tested the Laser Ally LIDAR unit in a fairly wide variety of conditions over the course of about two months of intermittent use.

During the early portion of my testing, the long-awaited winter rains hit my adopted home of San Francisco, and twice I stood on a sidewalk, soaked to the skin, just to see how the “Inclement Weather Mode” worked. It works.

During a misty midnight rain, the unit performed very well. I did this test in front of my house in the very small hours of the morning.

At that time of the day, there aren’t too many cars rolling down my steep (really steep) San Francisco street, but those who do tend to drive well over the posted limit. I was easily able to acquire each target in the heads-up display viewfinder and capture the speed every time.

This nighttime test was also a good opportunity to check the wide range of brightness settings in the heads-up display. Because almost everyone on my street had gone to bed, the only light was the ghostly fog-enshrouded streetlamps above.

A few days later, I was at the office, and one of those hum-dinger, typhoon-type, torrential downpours hit the area. I was better situated this time around, taking shelter beneath the eaves of a nearby building.

The storm laughed at my folly, soaking me with windswept raindrops the size of marbles, but the squall did nothing to thwart the speed readings I was getting as drivers foolishly pressed their luck in that weather.

A third test (also on the street adjacent to the PoliceOne offices) enabled me to try out the “Obstruction Mode” as there are several low trees growing from open dirt squares in the sidewalk.

This feature — which I’m told “nobody else offers” — enables you to continuously track through obstructions without losing your lock on the target.

Truthfully, I had a little bit of a harder time working this feature, but I’m pretty certain it was user error, and not the fault of the equipment. Once I got the hang of it, I was tracking vehicles through the trees with no problem whatsoever.

In all conditions, the heads-up display was easy to read, and the control functions on the back of the unit were easy to manipulate.

How Rugged is Rugged?
The Laser Ally I’ve been tinkering with is tough, but I confess I did not put it through as much of a torture test as I probably could have.

“Your LIDAR system is built to be durable and robust. However, like any precision optical instrument, care should be taken to protect the unit from drops and hard impacts,” reads the operator’s manual.

In a former life, I used to do a little work with a fairly-famous “rugged” laptop company. Once while demonstrating precisely how “rugged” they are, I accidentally destroyed one. Total loss. Whoops!

So, having learned from that experience and having read the operator’s manual — and knowing I didn’t want to return to Digital Ally a box full of useless electronic components — the only impact test I did was to allow the device to drop (once!) from my hand while standing.

Although the “system has a four point rubber cushioning system to minimize the shock of unintended impacts,” I was deathly afraid the impact on the concrete would destroy the device. Gladly, it did not.

The Laser Ally’s waterproof body is composed of a lightweight polycarbonate ABS blend for strength and chemical resistance. It can take a tremendous impact without cracking or deforming, and all the ends and corners are covered with rubber for additional help “absorbing any drop.”

Critical alignment components are then tied together by a second internal die-cast metal four point enclosure that floats in a rubber cushion.

Miscellaneous Observations
In the box I got from Digital Ally, the ticket printer unit was not included, so I asked my contact at the company to furnish me with a little bit of information on it, because the pairing of the two devices seems like an outstanding idea.

“This is a water-resistant, thermal printer that interfaces with the Laser Ally to automatically input speed, distance, etc., onto customizable tickets,” he told me. “It’s actually a well-established, popular printer for mobile applications but we don’t tell people which specific model it is because we don’t want them to purchase it on their own and expect it to automatically work with the Laser Ally. The printer and LIDAR have to be configured to interface together.”

According to my contact at the company, the Laser Ally contains sophisticated countermeasures to defeat “jamming” devices that are available in the consumer market.

The Laser Ally has been tested by a couple of independent labs using some of the more popular jammers available, and, according to my friend at the company, “the Laser Ally was the only LIDAR not jammed.”

In my research prior to writing this review, I discovered that model-specific batteries are common to a number of LIDAR units on the market — with battery replacement costs often being $100 and up. However, the Laser Ally uses regular “C” size batteries.

I never had this thing on for more than a few moments at a time as I was testing it, but like I said, I’ve been turning it on and off numerous times for months and have not replaced the batteries. That’s pretty awesome.

Another, sort of hidden benefit to having a LIDAR unit (as opposed to typical Radars) is the ability to use it to get precise measurements at accident scenes (I ended up measuring all sorts of distances just because I could).

The heads-up display and the sighting icon give you an awesome ability to acquire oncoming target vehicles with great precision at fairly significant distances. Now, it’s not a magnified optic of course, but still, I was able to quickly get speed readings on numerous, tightly-grouped, approaching vehicles.

One final observation. Using the Laser Ally LIDAR I was able to confirm my longstanding (albeit unscientific) belief that, of traffic on the street beside the PoliceOne office, the environmentally-friendly Prius drivers and overly-aggressive taxi cab drivers are the only people busting the speed limit (check out the video below, shot about two hours before I posted this column).

So, while I haven’t yet decided whether or not I should send my cough remedy receipts to the folks at Digital Ally, I can report that I will be sad when I have to pack up my T&E unit and send it back to them. The Laser Ally LIDAR is awesome."

Review by PoliceOne Editor in Chief, Doug Wyllie

"I was given the opportunity to use the Laser Ally speed detection device for a few weeks at Cobb Police Precinct 4. I used the device in multiple roadway situations such as Interstate 75, 4 lane highway’s, and 2 lane roads. This device did exceptionally well in all situations. The Laser Ally resembled the Pro Laser III but with the kinks worked out.

The Laser Ally has multiple plus sides which are as follows:

  • The Laser Ally is light weight and easy to hold up for long periods of time.
  • The Laser Ally uses “C” size batteries and has a power indicator on the screen when battery power is too low.
  • The batteries fit in their own housing and are stored in the hand grip of the device. The battery cap is reinforced to prevent over tightening and damage to the unit unlike the Pro Laser III.
  • The scope on the Laser Ally is protected by a “roof” that connects to the main body of the device.
  • The Laser Ally is water proof and is advertised as such.
  • The Heads-Up Display is easy to view and the unit has a brightness function from low to high depending on what your situation is.
  • The audible tone of the Laser Ally is among the best. When the device is actively searching a certain tone is used, once target is acquired a second and noticeably different tone is heard. If you move off of that target the tone changes letting the operator know they do not have a lock. The Laser Ally also allows the user to press the trigger and move from car to car, using the tones, in high traffic situations without having to constantly pull the trigger for every target. The Laser Ally will also show “Target Acquired” on the display when you get a laser lock.
  • The volume control on the Laser Ally is easy to change and has dedicated buttons on the back for volume and the brightness control.
  • The Laser Ally also has an obstruction mode that allows you to shoot past trees, mail boxes, telephone poles, etc. The unit was also able to be used through the closed windows in the vehicle.
  • The Laser Ally has a battery saving feature for those times when the device is left on for an extended period of time.
The Laser Ally has a few slight negatives as follows:
  • Although Laser Ally advertises to have a detection distance of 6000 ft, I found it difficult to get a target lock on vehicles beyond approximately 1500 ft. Side note: a HUD Scope is now available for easier long-distance targeting.
  • The Laser Ally in service is difficult to locate in the menu setting if it is a first time user. D1 and D2 should be easier to locate if not have a dedicated button because it is required that the unit be placed in service and out of service by every officer.
  • The Laser Ally unit that I demoed did not have a “stock” and I am unable to rate it accordingly.
Overall the Laser Ally is among the best unit that I have used beating out the ProLaser III, LTI 20/20 TruSpeed, and Marksman 20/20 unit’s. I would suggest this LIDAR unit to my agency and believe that it would be time worth while to request other demo’s within the department such as in traffic services. Upon reading the material on the unit the upgrade capabilities such as interfacing it with an in car camera system also make the Laser Ally a good option."

Reviewed by Officer Elijah Barnett
Cobb Police

Comments by actual LIDAR Jammers...

“Holy @#$!. [Laser Ally] is something to stay away from.”

“it looks pretty dangerous.”

“scary what it can do, different than from any of the others...”

“it's scary that it can read 6000 ft away.”

“The end of laser jammers has come. The best thing everyone could do is set your cruise control and drive safe.”

Digital Video Flashlight Testimonials/Reviews

"This is an excellent tool for our battle against DWI drivers. The officer can walk right up to the car side and immediately begin recording all the actions of the driver. The officer can record the individual possibly fumbling for their driver's license, sound recordings of their slurred speech, if this person is using the car to steady themselves…if they step off line, if they lose their balance. They may not even know and they may think it's a regular flashlight, but again, it's a tool that we can use on the side of the road for DWI enforcement."

Officer John Francis
Rio Rancho Police Department

On April 27th, 2008, Deputy Jason Krause and a fellow officer in Milan, TN, pulled over a silver Mustang for a light law violation. After advising the driver that her tail light was broken and asking her for her ID and insurance card, however, the first officer noticed she was shaking. He asked her what was wrong and if she was nervous then also requested an ID from a male passenger.

While gathering the information as well as running warrant checks and driver’s license status, both officers noticed the passenger put items in the rear passenger area, including a clear plastic bag with a tied end. The first officer then obtained permission to search the vehicle and discovered a small amount of marijuana. The other officer also noticed the male passenger might have narcotics in his mouth, which they ordered him to spit out.

A struggle took place ending in a drive stun with a taser, but the contraband was never spit out and the suspect later died in custody. Because of this and the suspect being out of view from the in-car camera system, the officers came under close investigation. Thankfully, they were using Digital Ally’s Digital Video Flashlight.

Krause states, "The video flashlight definitely helped clear me when the TN Bureau of Investigations came to investigate the matter. It was clear we followed policy and that wrong doing was not done on our part. You can clearly see the suspect resist, chew evidence in his mouth, and later admit he swallowed evidence. This was a high profile case for Milan P.D. due to the fact that the suspect died in custody. The autopsy results that came out 3 months later showed he died of cocaine toxicity (16.2 ml) in his system.

I will never forget how this device saved not only myself and fellow officer that night, but the department as well. All levels of force were followed properly and the suspect was as guilty as sin due to the overwhelming evidence. The charges against the driver were heard and she was found guilty of the light law violation and the drug paraphernalia in her car. This could not have been possible without the use of the video.

The other officer clearly made a mistake by bringing the suspect to the rear of my unit to conduct further investigations, but the video flashlight clears us from any conspiracy theories due to us not dealing with the issues at hand in front of my unit’s camera system. Thank GOD for this device!!!

Out of my 14 years of law enforcement, I can’t hardly see a day I want to continue to do this job without this device. If it weren’t for it I would most likely have quite and given up hope that the good guys can actually win in this time and age when the criminals have all the laws in their favor.

Thanks again for all your help.”

Deputy Jason Krause
Milan Police Department

“A friend of the department, Ken McCoy, donated three of these digital flashlights for the detective division. They are extremely light weight and will be a valuable tool for us. We can digitally video record crime scenes, and the information can be downloaded onto a computer and be reviewed. We can also make a copy of the video to use in court.

They are going to be a tremendous asset for us during our investigations. We haven’t had a video recorder the detectives used, and now we do. We are working hard to keep residents safe, protect their property from thieves and reduce crime in the county and we appreciate all the help...”

White County Sheriff Department

“...We are equally pleased at the performance of your flashlight video units. My officers now use them on all calls for services. They have found that in cases such as domestic violence calls and accident investigations, they are saving a tremendous amount of time in gathering evidence, and are capturing statements made by victims at the scene that have been invaluable in court. It has been beneficial in every type of investigation that we make.

I would like to end by saying thank you for your technological support that provides updates to the equipment. We have never felt with your company that we purchased something and was left to fend for ourselves or had to figure it out on our own. It means a lot to us to have direct corporate product communication if needed only a phone call away.

Please feel free to use me as a reference for any of your product line if needed. It is a pleasure to purchase equipment and have it work right out of the box to meet our needs.”

Kenneth R. Ketzler
Chief of Police
Decatur Police Department


More Testimonials & Reviews Coming Soon!


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