Cops wear Body Mounted Cameras – Say Cheese!
by Julie – on February 24th, 2012
You see it everyday, a police officer involved in some sort of a scuffle that’s been recorded on someone’s Smartphone. It almost always makes the officer look bad. I watch these events unfold on my TV almost every night, and I wonder to myself, what happened BEFORE someone started recording? I mean, surely the “bad guy” wasn’t just walking down the street minding his own business…
Well, in towns all over the country, we wont be left to wonder anymore, cops in many places nationwide have been outfitted with tiny wearable cameras. Unlike the often observed dashboard cameras, these little guys can be worn on a collar, head mount or with the Taser unit shown above, even mounted on Oakley sunglasses. These devices will capture everything from the police officers point of view, not just at the point that some spectator decided to start recording. Police simply activate the device and begin recording evidence that will negate any disputes as to what actually happened.
Most of these HD digital micro-cameras are about 2 inches long, an inch wide and are voice activated. Compatible with Android and iOs, all recordings made by these cameras are date and time stamped and cannot be altered or erased and designed to preserve chain of custody concerns, although the officer is most often in charge of initially activating the camera, and they also have the ability to turn it off. On TV when the camera goes off, its never a good thing, is it?
So is moving towards a body worn camera for all officers a good idea? Does it put the officers in danger or do more to protect the public? Some folks feel that cameras will lead to better performance and more professionalism on the job, others feel it will safeguard against bogus lawsuits, still others feel as though its a violation of privacy on both sides. The jury is still out on this one for me… but I think you’re going to see them around your town all the same…
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