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August 3, 2017

Body Cameras & Dash Cams Need to Be Recording

Recently, a woman was mistakenly shot by a police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The officer was sitting in his police car when the shooting occurred. Unfortunately, none of the body cameras or in-car video systems were recording during the incident.

The lack of recording evidence makes it difficult to understand what happened. As a result, the police department has received a lot of criticism. The situation became so serious that the police chief was forced to resign.

In today’s charged environment, where law enforcement must be extra careful to maintain public trust, it is critical that the police agency utilize technology tools that increase and maintain trust with the public.

Using the Right Technology Increases Public Trust

There are many different body cam and police dash cam products in the market. Agencies can deploy inexpensive products with limited features, or utilize advanced solutions with extensive new capabilities to increase officer safety, improve officer efficiency, and maintain high public trust.

For example, in the Minneapolis incident, even though the police car video system was not recording, some products on the market offer the ability to go back and capture the video anyway. This is technically possible by having the system always recording video, even if the officer hasn’t hit the record button, and then saving the video before the system automatically deletes it the next day. This allows law enforcement agencies to capture critical evidence that would otherwise be lost.

The Economics of the Technology

Police car video systems that can always record cost a little bit more than a bare bones product. However, these advanced police dashcam systems often come with a whole host of additional features for agencies. The features help law enforcement agency command staff keep a positive relationship with the community, reducing the risk of lawsuits and firings.