Police car video cameras are becoming more and more commonplace. If you are the head of a police department that is considering equipping your force with police car video cameras, you will find that there are many advantages to doing so. Although purchasing all new police camera systems can take a cut in the budget, they are well worth their cost for the following reasons.
Increased safety to police officers
There is no question that police officers take on a degree of risk every day they enter the city. Although they are generally equipped with protection, harm is still possible. With police car video camera systems, police can get back up quicker. Without cameras, they have to call in for backup. If they are in the middle of an escape or pursuit, this might not be immediate. Having police car video cameras can significantly increase the response time of back up, thus increasing the safety of officers.
Evidence for legal cases
Wrongful police activity has been in the media a lot lately. It can be difficult to prove, or to show innocence when it is one person?s statement against another?s. With dash cams, however, the entire situation is on camera. If questions of wrongdoing are brought up, the dash camera video can be brought into court. If the officer is innocent, they can prove this. If they committed an illegal act during a routine stop, then appropriate consequences can be given. In a recent Pew Research Center survey, 50% of officers said that body and dash cameras would make police more likely to act appropriately.
To gather information about a suspect
Some criminals can be hard to track down. For example, if a person commits a crime and then runs, it can be almost impossible to find them again. However, if the officer is using body cameras or in car video systems, you have an image of the suspect. This image can be shared with local and even international media sources to track down the person. In the same Pew Research Center survey, 52% of police department administrators said that police body cameras would make the public more likely to cooperate with officers.
To assist with new officer training
New officers usually get limited training. They might attend a police academy, where they will study and increase their physical stamina. Once they are hired into a police force, they might be paired with a veteran officer, but they are still limited to the experiences they have with that officer. They do not get additional mentorship from other officers. With police car video cameras, police trainers can use this information as what to do and what not to do. It can be extremely useful for those that learn better with visual examples.
The increase of police car cameras
The number of police car video cameras is growing due to the many advantages of police body cameras. In 2000, only 3,400 (11%) of state police and highway patrol vehicles has in car cameras. Today, it is estimated that about 72% of all state patrol vehicles utilize these in car video systems. Additionally, this number is only expected to increase over the next couple of years.
Making the decision to use police dash and body cameras is a big one. They can be expensive and they require manpower to monitor them. However, when you factor in the advantages they give, they are well worth the cost. Not only do they increase the safety of the officers, but they also can help with training and can be an extremely important part of legal cases against the police department.