An Extra Pair of Eyes: Vehicle Camera Systems For Police Officers
In 2012, there were approximately 800,000 police officers in the U.S. Those 800,000 men and women protect the community and put their lives on the line every single day. Police departments deserve the best, and one piece of equipment used by law enforcement throughout the country is a vehicle camera system.
What is a vehicle camera system? A vehicle camera system is simply a camera installed inside a police car (usually on the dashboard) that records everything in front of it. They are already quite popular with law enforcement agencies. It is estimated that roughly 72% of all state trooper and highway patrol cars have some kind of in vehicle camera system, and that number is expected to increase. Why are they so popular? A few reasons:
- They Record Evidence: First and foremost, in car camera systems record evidence that can be used in trial. Anything that happens in front of the squad car is recorded. If a criminal act occurs in front of the car, the camera will be there to record it. This is an invaluable tool for law enforcement collection of evidence.
- They Are Used For Training: Police car video cameras are also used for training police. Videos from the cameras are often shown to trainees and regular cops in order to demonstrate proper techniques, procedures, and protocols. Videos can be reviewed and critiqued for appropriate — as well as inappropriate — behavior. Which leads to the third point:
- They Maintain Professionalism: If, for whatever reason, an officer is accused of inappropriate behavior on patrol, the camera footage can be used to evaluate the situation. Footage is also at times released to the public in order to build trust and transparency in the community.
So, whether you are a patrol cop for a local precinct or on the highways as a state trooper, rest assured that vehicle camera systems are available for you to do your job: protecting the public.