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Thread: S/O - body cameras mandatory for police?

  1. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
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    #1

    S/O - body cameras mandatory for police?

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    It was kind of brought up in one of the Ferguson threads but I wanted to start a new thread instead of derailing that one ... and plus my city just recently started requiring police officers to wear body cameras so it's topical to me too. Here's the article:

    Georgetown police using new body camera system | KXAN.com

    GEORGETOWN, Texas (KXAN) — Next time you come face to face with a Georgetown police officer, don’t be surprised when the officer is wearing a camera.

    Every officer with the department is now required to wear a body camera while out on patrol.

    “What that does is it helps to protect the officer, protect the citizen and give us immediate feedback on truly what happened on an incident,” Capt. Roland Waits with the Georgetown Police Department explained.

    One such incident happened earlier this year during an exchange between a Georgetown Police officer and a motorist he pulled over.

    “Guys, the reason I’m stopping you is you have a headlight out on your passenger side,” the officer starts off saying.

    “This is why you guys are pieces of (expletive). Give me the (expletive) thing and I’ll sign it,” the driver retorted.

    “You realize I’m trying to release you from here,” the officer said. “I want you to go on with your night.”

    According to Georgetown Police, the man pulled over filed a complaint against the officer, saying he was being belligerent to him.

    “What this has done is, it has helped clear a lot of those misconceptions, or misperceptions, relative to complaints being made,” Waits said.

    “It sounds like an interesting idea,” Ben Galindo, a student who lives in Georgetown, said of the cameras. “To hold these officers accountable for certain things, just to get everything for the record straight.”

    The department says the $100,000 they have spent on cameras save time and resources so officers can focus on keeping the city safe. With about 75 officers using cameras, the Georgetown Police Department is the largest agency to provide cameras for the entire force. But they aren’t the first to try them out.

    The 25 or so officers in Lakeway Police already use the “eye-level” cameras in the field. At the end of every officer’s shift, they plug in the camera and it automatically downloads the video. That helps resolve complaints and provides evidence to prosecutors.

    Austin police tried out body cameras in 2011 and decided the price tag of $800 to $2,500 per camera was too much. The department allows individual officers to purchase their own cameras and use them on patrol. It’s not clear how many have those cameras. Still, department policy allows the video to be used as evidence.

    One study from a police department similar in size to Georgetown’s found officer cameras make everyone safer. The year-long test at the Rialto Police Department led to a 60 percent drop in “use of force” instances in the community east of Los Angeles. KXAN has learned complaints against officers dropped between 80 and 90 percent during that time.
    Personally I like this idea. I've heard similar ideas being tried in other departments, even to the extreme of the camera being on the whole time the officer is on duty, even if they're at the station etc. I'm not sure if they need to go that far, but I like knowing that if I encounter any police in my town that there'll be a recording there to protect me.

    It's not exactly the same, but at my old job when I worked with kids, there was always CC TV (with audio) in the room. Some of the teachers didn't like it, but I was always glad it was there, because it could exonerate me if anyone accused me of something I didn't do. And at my new job there's cameras ALL OVER the bank and to me that's also protection against false accusations.

    Looking at what other police officers have to say, I did see some objections relating to worries that their superiors would watch the footage and nitpick the interactions to get them in trouble. But I also feel like that happen in pretty much every aspect of someone's job ...

    I also wonder if having cameras recording anyway will discourage police from threatening/harassing anyone who happens to be recording them in public (like on their cell phone or something).
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    Totally for it!
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    Not only am I for it, I think officers who turn them off, or wear ones that are not verified working should be fined, or have the presumption that they are telling the truth go against them.

    What most cops don't realize is that it makes their job EASIER!
    If you want my opinion on your relationship or life issues, just ask Villanelle!
    Quote Originally Posted by LittleMsSunshine View Post
    I think it's really funny when people come on here, and automatically assume that everyone here is a gung-ho, hoo-rah, i-bleed-red-white-and-blue, kiss-my-military-ass, people-in-uniform-can-do-no-wrong, and i'm-entitled-to-everything bitch.
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    I think it's funny. So many people oppose CCTV, saying it invades their privacy when they're just going about their lives and not doing anything wrong. But "OMG! this is a way to keep cops in check, I'm all for it!". Because, it's not the exact same thing. CCTV wouldn't also record a police officer doing something wrong and body cameras won't ever catch anything on camera except police wrong doing.

    Personally, I don't care. I also have no problem with CCTV.

    I don't think it's going to make dishonest people honest though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynn View Post
    I think it's funny. So many people oppose CCTV, saying it invades their privacy when they're just going about their lives and not doing anything wrong. But "OMG! this is a way to keep cops in check, I'm all for it!". Because, it's not the exact same thing. CCTV wouldn't also record a police officer doing something wrong and body cameras won't ever catch anything on camera except police wrong doing.

    Personally, I don't care. I also have no problem with CCTV.

    I don't think it's going to make dishonest people honest though.
    No, but it will catch the dishonest cops being dishonest.

    And a cop walking around with a camera is much different than a camera on ever street watching everything all the time.
    If you want my opinion on your relationship or life issues, just ask Villanelle!
    Quote Originally Posted by LittleMsSunshine View Post
    I think it's really funny when people come on here, and automatically assume that everyone here is a gung-ho, hoo-rah, i-bleed-red-white-and-blue, kiss-my-military-ass, people-in-uniform-can-do-no-wrong, and i'm-entitled-to-everything bitch.
    "RIP Blackie, and Whitey, New Whitey. Goodbye Poopers and Momma Beige and Lady Grey. New Blackie and the Whitey Sisters rule the roost now!"
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynn View Post
    I think it's funny. So many people oppose CCTV, saying it invades their privacy when they're just going about their lives and not doing anything wrong. But "OMG! this is a way to keep cops in check, I'm all for it!". Because, it's not the exact same thing. CCTV wouldn't also record a police officer doing something wrong and body cameras won't ever catch anything on camera except police wrong doing.

    Personally, I don't care. I also have no problem with CCTV.

    I don't think it's going to make dishonest people honest though.
    I think it's funny that the example they cited was using the footage to exonerate the police.

    For me I do think it protects both sides though, it doesn't seem biased one way or the other (unless like Asher said, the person selectively films in order to skew the evidence). If it really makes people safer like in that study I think it'll be win-win.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tojai View Post
    I think it's funny that the example they cited was using the footage to exonerate the police.

    For me I do think it protects both sides though, it doesn't seem biased one way or the other (unless like Asher said, the person selectively films in order to skew the evidence). If it really makes people safer like in that study I think it'll be win-win.
    Its amazing. As a defense attorney, I loved dash cam footage when used properly. (Suspect kept on screen, audio on.)
    Why?
    I would watch it and show it to my client. He could then decide to plead guilty or fight it. If it showed him driving then getting out of the car he couldn't argue that he wasn't the person driving and we likely plea. If it showed someone else getting out of the car, well then, we show it to the prosecutor, and case gets dismissed. Saves thousands of dollars on every case!
    If you want my opinion on your relationship or life issues, just ask Villanelle!
    Quote Originally Posted by LittleMsSunshine View Post
    I think it's really funny when people come on here, and automatically assume that everyone here is a gung-ho, hoo-rah, i-bleed-red-white-and-blue, kiss-my-military-ass, people-in-uniform-can-do-no-wrong, and i'm-entitled-to-everything bitch.
    "RIP Blackie, and Whitey, New Whitey. Goodbye Poopers and Momma Beige and Lady Grey. New Blackie and the Whitey Sisters rule the roost now!"
  8. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
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    #8
    I've always been kind of curious how the dash cam works. Does it only come on when the sirens/flashers are activated, or is it constantly recording like the body cams do? Maybe that varies by department too ...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tojai View Post
    I've always been kind of curious how the dash cam works. Does it only come on when the sirens/flashers are activated, or is it constantly recording like the body cams do? Maybe that varies by department too ...
    They record on a loop. When they are manually activated, or the lights or siren goes on, the recording goes back anywhere from 30 seconds to a minute, and begins to save from that point until it is manually deactivated.
    They don't record when the car is turned off. When the car is turned on, the officer has to manually start the system, and type in his code.
    The more advanced ones also record the GPS coordinates and are connected to the cars computer, and record the current speed, and other functions, such as emergency lights going on.
    Also, they are connected to two mics usually. A mobile one on the officer, and a local one in the car. There is usually also a camera aimed at the back seat.
    If you want my opinion on your relationship or life issues, just ask Villanelle!
    Quote Originally Posted by LittleMsSunshine View Post
    I think it's really funny when people come on here, and automatically assume that everyone here is a gung-ho, hoo-rah, i-bleed-red-white-and-blue, kiss-my-military-ass, people-in-uniform-can-do-no-wrong, and i'm-entitled-to-everything bitch.
    "RIP Blackie, and Whitey, New Whitey. Goodbye Poopers and Momma Beige and Lady Grey. New Blackie and the Whitey Sisters rule the roost now!"
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    I don't see a down side.
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