On top of technology

WatchGuard Video stays ahead of the curve as the world leader in video systems for law enforcement.

It’s no surprise that in-car and on-body cameras for law enforcement are becoming more and more in demand. It might surprise people to learn, however, that the world’s largest manufacturer of these video systems, WatchGuard Video, is located in Allen, Texas.

“What’s even more surprising, I think, is that we as a company are currently spending about $1 million every month in research and development to further video technology for law enforcement,” says WatchGuard Video spokesperson Jaime Carlin. “The needs of police officers are growing at an ever-expanding pace as more and more is being expected of them.”

Some court systems won’t even consider a case unless there’s video evidence, she explains, adding that WatchGuard is often called on to authenticate dash-cam or body camera video. In addition, the Obama administration last year issued $20 million in grants to help police departments purchase body cameras for their officers.

“The technology in this field is constantly innovating and evolving, and we’re doing our part to stay out in front of it,” Carlin says. “We know how critical our equipment and software can be for establishing a transparent relationship between law enforcement and the community they serve.”

Picking Allen twice

WatchGuard Video supplies equipment and software to nearly one-third of all law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and Canada. Over 6,000 agencies use the company’s equipment including: the Cities of Houston and Detroit, the Canadian Royal Mounted Police, and the Texas State Troopers, as well as Trooper associations for 24 others states.

The company was founded in 2002 by CEO Robert Vanman and moved to Allen in 2005. They currently occupy a two-story 65,000-sq.-ft. facility that houses approximately 225 employees in the departments of engineering, manufacturing, sales and customer service. Because of the company’s growth and success, they have outgrown this space and are in the process of building a new custom facility nearby their current location. The move is expected to happen in the second or third quarter of 2017.

“Allen has proven to be a great fit for us,” Carlin says. “It says something that not only have we picked this city once, we’ve picked them again for our new facility.”

Sharing the company philosophy

Carlin credits the city with sharing the company’s support for law enforcement, adding that it’s also a great place to recruit and for employees to live.

“This is the tip of the technology corridor,” she explains. “With our need to recruit top talent in the engineering space, this location gives us great proximity to some of the top engineering minds in the nation. Also, Allen is a new city, and it’s very forward thinking. It’s a good fit because there’s a lot of pride in this town, which matches our company’s philosophies.”