Police departments across the United States have been using dash camera systems for years. These useful systems sit on the dashboards of police vehicles and capture footage as if the viewer were sitting in the passenger seat, looking out of the front windshield. As these police officer dash cameras have been in place for a while, it's easy to take them for granted and forget all of the benefits they provide.
Can be used in officer training: Anyone being trained in a new skill or subject can often learn best with visual tools. In car camera systems can record interactions between officers and the public, and then police academies can use those recordings to train new officers. The videos are also useful to refresh the proper procedures for officers currently in the department.
Improves officer safety: Police officer dash cameras have enhanced officer safety by providing undeniable evidence of what occurred in any given incident. The simple presence of a dash camera recording a situation will make both the subject and the officer think twice about their actions, as they know it will be captured on camera.
Provide transparency for the community: The unbiased perspective of a police officer dash camera can also build trust between the community and the police department. Citizens are better able to understand police situations when they can see what happened on video. With footage, they don't have to rely on the story of one party or another, but can turn to the evidence.
Improves conviction rates: The footage car dashboard cameras capture also becomes evidence in legal proceedings. As this footage is often additional evidence to what they've already collected, it has been shown to increase conviction rates for most cases. The footage proves useful to juries to determine what really happened in an incident.
Reduces department liability: When a police department invests in police car dash cameras, they're also investing in a reduction of their liability. As dash cameras capture real-time footage, they help police departments avoid potential lawsuits alleging police misconduct. While the technology keeps officers accountable, it is also invaluable in its reduction of erroneous allegations.
In car video systems are so valued in police departments around the world that the global dashboard camera market is predicted to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 15.3% between 2014 and 2020. This significant growth showcases how heavily law enforcement values protecting the community as well as building trust.