Throughout the years of policing, there have been many advancements in both procedural methods, technology, and departmental behavior that have transformed the American police force to what it is today. Out of all of those advancements, one in particular has provided incredible benefits to both police departments and civilians nationwide: body-worn cameras. The body cameras worn by police were a natural progression from the dash camera that was, at one point, a huge advancement.
So if the body cam evolved from the dash cam, where might this technology lead in the future? Here are a few possibilities.
Before any significant advancements are made in other areas of science and technology, there are bound to be changes to the current designs. The camera fixture itself will most likely get much smaller than it is presently and might be combined with other pieces of technology as well. Radio technology, location technology, and even smartphone applications might all become merged into one body camera. The modified systems would allow officers to radio dispatch, thus getting rid of an entire piece of equipment that the officers would need to wear. Location devices in the camera would also help track officer locations throughout multiple jurisdictions, which would help eliminate some of the concerns surrounding constant recording versus event-based recording. With a smartphone user interface and ability to run applications, the cameras would allow for footage management directly through the device itself which could save hundreds of hours of time in the event that an investigator has to manually search footage. These technological advancements could also bring about cloud storage, although most departments might find the security of local storage more appealing for the time being.
Security cameras used in shopping centers, ATMs, and even some social media platforms are already using facial recognition software. If such a feature was integrated into police body cameras, then officers could be instantly alerted if their camera reads the face of someone with a warrant out for their arrest. This could also help with running background checks more efficiently, and help avoid the discombobulation associated with false identification.
By March 2015, roughly one-third of the 18,000 U.S. police departments were using body-worn cameras. As the camera system continues to advance, it wouldn't be too far-fetched to believe that the majority of police departments will be using this technology.
To find out more possibilities of where body-worn cameras might end up, stay tuned for the next post.
Want to learn more about the benefits of police body cameras for your department? Call us today.