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Should cops be made to wear video cameras? (1 Viewer)

Should cops be required to wear video cameras?

  • Yes

    Votes: 22 91.7%
  • No

    Votes: 1 4.2%
  • Beating folks up is all a part of good policing.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • I love mashed potatoes.

    Votes: 1 4.2%

  • Total voters
    24
  • Poll closed .
Required to wear them? No.
Have an option to wear them? Yes.

Who wouldn't like to have a video to show his/her innocence when wrongly accused?
I'm guessing the large majority of police officers would like to have that protection.

One would think, hey? But it would also show their abuse and professional misconduct. I'm sure that would not make them very happy. Especially the bad cops. I wouldn't expect the asshole type of cops would "volunteer," to wear them if given a choice. And I bet their union would also object to anything that could possibly incriminate a cop for being a lousy cop.

That's why they should be REQUIRED to wear them, IMO.
 
I'm leaning towards supporting the use of cameras on officers. However, I feel like there may be some constitutional issues with this, but I'm not one to make an appeal to constitutionality.

There is no constitutional question.

There is no expectation of privacy when a person is out in public.

A camera is a added tool of the officer, no different than his radio. He has no expectation that his video actions can not be monitored any differently than his radio communications, verbal, or written reports [to other officers, superiors, lawyers or judges] are.
 
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Required to wear them? No.
Have an option to wear them? Yes.

Who wouldn't like to have a video to show his/her innocence when wrongly accused?
I'm guessing the large majority of police officers would like to have that protection.

When video dash cams were installed in some PDs' cruisers..there was not an opt out option.

Officer body camera's, like dash cams, are not to protect the officer or the citizenry...it is a tool to show superiors as best as possible the actions of all involed that may arise on a disputed call.
 
I voted yes, but think some safeguards should be in place to protect the officers.
An officer's actions might be the absolutely correct for a given situation,
but may not present well on a vest camera.
The videos may be public record, but think they should be sequestered until required
by the courts.

The officers are not be judged for theatric performance, in any way at all. The purpose of the camera is to validate just what actually happened in any given encounter between police and civilian, so that justice is done and the truth is known. Or at least as a tool to help discover what happens in any situation.
 
The officers are not be judged for theatric performance, in any way at all. The purpose of the camera is to validate just what actually happened in any given encounter between police and civilian, so that justice is done and the truth is known. Or at least as a tool to help discover what happens in any situation.
I understand that part, my concern is the jokes and observations that go on between officers,
could be misunderstood and used in ways that could harm them.
Police work in an unpleasant environment, and it gives them a thicker skin than most,
and an unusual since of humor, that some people would not understand.
 
I understand that part, my concern is the jokes and observations that go on between officers,
could be misunderstood and used in ways that could harm them.
Police work in an unpleasant environment, and it gives them a thicker skin than most,
and an unusual since of humor, that some people would not understand.

Well it would certainly impact departmental politics, if that's what you're trying to say. ;)
 
Here is another question. Anti Orwellians already note how many cameras abound the cities and burbs....so now we make each officer a roving govt eye?

That's my first problem with this.

I know, no expectation of privacy in the public space, but I think there's a lot of gray area between that and living in the constant surveillance state the U.S. is quickly becoming.

My second problem with it is cost.

The most "up to date" version of the camera Hard Truth linked to runs about $900 a copy. Add some accessories and whatnot and call it $1000 per (just to make the math easy for me).

There are about 35,000 police officers in the NYPD.

If they're all required to wear these cameras you're looking at a $35 million bill just for base-line hardware.

Figure in training, storage, maintenance, replacement units, what else?

You're probably pushing $75 million in year one.

For one city.

Okay, broaden it.

Bureau of Justice Statistics says 461,000 total state and municipal law enforcement officers in the U.S. in 2008 (most recent numbers I can find).

Same math as above, $4.6 billion plus (training, storage, maintenance, replacement units) and you're looking at $10 billion nationally.

What about federal LEOs?

What about DHS uniformed staff?

Many smaller municipal departments don't even current have dash cams because cost is prohibitive.

Is this something we supplement with federal funds?

Haven't we pumped enough money into law enforcement post-9/11 where every Barney Fife has to have a tactical vest and AR platform, and every department feels that it needs some sort of armored vehicle, unmanned drone, and training from top national anti-terrorism authorities?
 
One would think, hey? But it would also show their abuse and professional misconduct. I'm sure that would not make them very happy. Especially the bad cops. I wouldn't expect the asshole type of cops would "volunteer," to wear them if given a choice. And I bet their union would also object to anything that could possibly incriminate a cop for being a lousy cop.

That's why they should be REQUIRED to wear them, IMO.

The lousy cops usually get their comeuppance sooner or later, most especially in this litigation crazy world where just about everybody has the ability to take a cell phone photo or video at an opportune moment. But most cops are not lousy cops and do a commendable job under circumstances most of us would consider intolerable, and if they don't want to have to spend every minute of their shift aware the camera is on them and have to be conscious of every word they speak, etc., they shouldn't have to. But many will prefer the extra protection over the loss of personal privacy too.
 
When video dash cams were installed in some PDs' cruisers..there was not an opt out option.

Officer body camera's, like dash cams, are not to protect the officer or the citizenry...it is a tool to show superiors as best as possible the actions of all involed that may arise on a disputed call.

The dash cam is a much different thing than having every minute of your shift monitored by video--no privacy in the men's room, no privacy in a telephone call to your wife on your lunch break, etc. There is the pressure of knowing every single word you speak, every conservation, every time you scratch something, etc. is being recorded.
 
That's my first problem with this.

I know, no expectation of privacy in the public space, but I think there's a lot of gray area between that and living in the constant surveillance state the U.S. is quickly becoming.

My second problem with it is cost.

The most "up to date" version of the camera Hard Truth linked to runs about $900 a copy. Add some accessories and whatnot and call it $1000 per (just to make the math easy for me).

There are about 35,000 police officers in the NYPD.

If they're all required to wear these cameras you're looking at a $35 million bill just for base-line hardware.

Figure in training, storage, maintenance, replacement units, what else?

You're probably pushing $75 million in year one.

For one city.

Okay, broaden it.

Bureau of Justice Statistics says 461,000 total state and municipal law enforcement officers in the U.S. in 2008 (most recent numbers I can find).

Same math as above, $4.6 billion plus (training, storage, maintenance, replacement units) and you're looking at $10 billion nationally.

What about federal LEOs?

What about DHS uniformed staff?

Many smaller municipal departments don't even current have dash cams because cost is prohibitive.

Is this something we supplement with federal funds?

Haven't we pumped enough money into law enforcement post-9/11 where every Barney Fife has to have a tactical vest and AR platform, and every department feels that it needs some sort of armored vehicle, unmanned drone, and training from top national anti-terrorism authorities?

First, all 35,000 NYC cops aren't on duty at the same time, and presumably procedures can be developed so that the video devices can be shared during a day while still maintaining accurate record of who was wearing it when. Many jurisdictions spend millions annually on investigations, settlements, suspensions, dismissals, retraining, legal costs and payment of lawsuits that can be drastically reduced.

The cost of video systems need to be compared to the savings that will result:

  • Many bogus accusations of misconduct will be dismissed without a lengthy investigation, trial or other process when they contradict the video evidence.
  • Many legitimate accusations of misconduct can be settled without a lengthy investigation, trial or other process when the video evidence supports the allegation.
  • Officers will behave better knowing that they are on the record, reducing police harassment of citizens, racial profiling, false arrests, misconduct charges and lawsuits and improving citizen-police relations.
  • The evidence from the video recordings will result in more acceptance of plea deals by suspects because they know there is enough evidence for a conviction.
  • In many cases, the evidence from the video recordings will result in faster trials because there will be better evidence for a conviction.
  • Citizens interacting with officers will behave better knowing that they are on the record, reducing injury to officers and arrests.
  • The video evidence will make it easier to identify the suspects who succeed in fleeing the police.
  • The process of investigating officer involved shootings will be quicker and the determinations of appropriate use of force less ambiguous.
  • Investigations of safety violations, use of improper procedures and injuries will be quicker and more accurate.
  • Recordings can be used for training purposes.
 
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The dash cam is a much different thing than having every minute of your shift monitored by video--no privacy in the men's room, no privacy in a telephone call to your wife on your lunch break, etc. There is the pressure of knowing every single word you speak, every conservation, every time you scratch something, etc. is being recorded.

I don't see a need to continue recording during breaks. In some jurisdictions, the cameras are activated only during contact with the public. Police contact with citizens is already frequently observed and even video recorded by people in the vicinity who may fail to record a crucial part (usually the beginning) of an incident.
 
The lousy cops usually get their comeuppance sooner or later, most especially in this litigation crazy world where just about everybody has the ability to take a cell phone photo or video at an opportune moment. But most cops are not lousy cops and do a commendable job under circumstances most of us would consider intolerable, and if they don't want to have to spend every minute of their shift aware the camera is on them and have to be conscious of every word they speak, etc., they shouldn't have to. But many will prefer the extra protection over the loss of personal privacy too.

No one really knows how many bad cops there are because accusations and the resulting discipline is usually handled in secret by fellow officers. It often takes several incidents, law suits and complaints before a bad cop is fired. Sometimes an innocent person gets killed before the cop faces serious discipline. It is not that unusual for cops with terrible records to get promoted and/or become a training officer. Cops in public should be conscious of every word they speak, etc., because they have the power and permission to kill or wound people and their actions represent all law enforcement and the government agency they represent. Even if they "only" act rudely, overly aggressively or roughly, discriminate and/or use inappropriate language, there is harm to citizens and/or the public image of the department.
 
You made many good points. My understanding is the number of sworn personnel in the United States is closer to 800,000
List of countries by number of police officers - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I'm not even certain that includes prison guards, and do we wire up detectives, federal agents, and what about those
"undercover" ops? I'm only partly kidding. Where is the line drawn. Clearly a department would be able to use a
camera on more then one officer (think shifts) which might lower your view of the cost 50 even 60% - so its only $4 billion
annually nationwide. I still think if I were on the job - I'd want it. That is just me. I'd prefer to have a judge/jury see
what I saw.


That's my first problem with this.

I know, no expectation of privacy in the public space, but I think there's a lot of gray area between that and living in the constant surveillance state the U.S. is quickly becoming.

My second problem with it is cost.

The most "up to date" version of the camera Hard Truth linked to runs about $900 a copy. Add some accessories and whatnot and call it $1000 per (just to make the math easy for me).

There are about 35,000 police officers in the NYPD.

If they're all required to wear these cameras you're looking at a $35 million bill just for base-line hardware.

Figure in training, storage, maintenance, replacement units, what else?

You're probably pushing $75 million in year one.

For one city.

Okay, broaden it.

Bureau of Justice Statistics says 461,000 total state and municipal law enforcement officers in the U.S. in 2008 (most recent numbers I can find).

Same math as above, $4.6 billion plus (training, storage, maintenance, replacement units) and you're looking at $10 billion nationally.

What about federal LEOs?

What about DHS uniformed staff?

Many smaller municipal departments don't even current have dash cams because cost is prohibitive.

Is this something we supplement with federal funds?

Haven't we pumped enough money into law enforcement post-9/11 where every Barney Fife has to have a tactical vest and AR platform, and every department feels that it needs some sort of armored vehicle, unmanned drone, and training from top national anti-terrorism authorities?
 
Hmm...Some sterotypes there.

Poor performing officers have a tough time in large departments. There are tasks they can get assigned too that few want - evidence locker, records keeper, armorer, etc. I know of a gentlemen in the SF Bay area that is a hell of an amorer and can do most anything to a gun an officer might want. He will never do anything else because he got poped for a DUI. He feels luck (as he should) to have a job with the department. As a trainer for police officers though I can tell you it takes education and experience to get into my role. A lousy reference for a poor performance will never get you into a training position.


No one really knows how many bad cops there are because accusations and the resulting discipline is usually handled in secret by fellow officers. It often takes several incidents, law suits and complaints before a bad cop is fired. Sometimes an innocent person gets killed before the cop faces serious discipline. It is not that unusual for cops with terrible records to get promoted and/or become a training officer. Cops in public should be conscious of every word they speak, etc., because they have the power and permission to kill or wound people and their actions represent all law enforcement and the government agency they represent. Even if they "only" act rudely, overly aggressively or roughly, discriminate and/or use inappropriate language, there is harm to citizens and/or the public image of the department.
 
The dash cam is a much different thing than having every minute of your shift monitored by video--no privacy in the men's room, no privacy in a telephone call to your wife on your lunch break, etc. There is the pressure of knowing every single word you speak, every conservation, every time you scratch something, etc. is being recorded.

So long as the officer is not being evaluated in his bathroom habits or personal hygine...then the officer should not be worried to scratch what is needed to be scratched.

If the officer has a problem with a traffic stop and a citizen complains...his converation with his wife is irrelevant to his demeanor and procedure at the stop.
 
So long as the officer is not being evaluated in his bathroom habits or personal hygine...then the officer should not be worried to scratch what is needed to be scratched.

If the officer has a problem with a traffic stop and a citizen complains...his converation with his wife is irrelevant to his demeanor and procedure at the stop.

I think you missed the point.
 
I think you missed the point.

Or your point was not valid to the question. would you like to make an arguemnt why it should not be allowed other than embarrassment in scratching body parts?
 
Hmm...Some sterotypes there. Poor performing officers have a tough time in large departments......A lousy reference for a poor performance will never get you into a training position.

"The Tribune found a host of officers, particularly high-ranking ones, with controversial records.

Deputy Chief Michael Neal

Fired in 2003 after 24 disciplinary incidents, he was rehired when his friend Eric Kellogg was elected mayor. Within his first year back, he was written up for sleeping in his patrol car while manning a roadblock and spending shifts loafing or needlessly racing around town, records show. The chief at that time wanted to fire him, but the mayor made Neal his bodyguard. He was later promoted to oversee investigations and internal affairs. ......

Officer Marcus Patterson

Charged by his former police employer, Bolingbrook, with misdemeanor theft and assault, Patterson beat the charges in court and started with Harvey. He rose to become the department's top ethics officer, despite records showing a girlfriend in Romeoville accused him of abuse and a woman in a Posen bar accused him of spying on her in a bathroom. He avoided charges then, as well as on two traffic stops in Midlothian where an officer said he suspected him of drunken driving and reported finding open alcohol. The first time the officer let Patterson go. The second time the officer gave him a $40 ticket for expired plates. (To view the squad car video, go to chicagotribune.com/duivideo) Patterson later did get demoted for causing a crash in a Harvey car with alcohol in his system, records show, but was given a commendation last year — before another girlfriend accused him in civil court of abuse.

Det. Jeff Crocker
Crocker's arrest of an elderly PACE bus driver in 2009 resulted in no charges against the driver — who was injured in the arrest — and cost Harvey nearly $180,000 to settle the driver's lawsuit, records show. As part of the suit, the transit agency demanded Harvey reimburse it for $130,000 in workers compensation paid the driver as a result of Crocker's "unprovoked physical assault." He also had two orders of protection against him after he allegedly punched his girlfriend and later allegedly threatened to burn her house down, records show. He was not charged. Harvey gave him a service commendation last year.

Deputy Chief Jason Banks
In December 2004 authorities charged Banks — then a retail worker — with domestic battery for allegedly repeatedly punching his girlfriend. The case was dropped. Less than a year later, the girlfriend told police that Banks drove her and their child to a forest preserve in Orland Park, repeatedly punched her and told her: "If you don't conform to what I want, you and I will die. I'll stab the hell out of you. If I can't have you, no one can," according to records. The next morning, she said she heard noises outside her basement window and saw Banks dressed in all black. He tried to push his way in but left after she called to others inside her home, she told police. He was charged with criminal trespass, but the case was dropped. Banks joined Harvey in 2009. Last year, he was given a service commendation and became a deputy chief.

Commander Shane Gordan
Gordan joined the force in 2000 despite a misdemeanor gun conviction — he later testified it was expunged — and rose to become a sergeant. He then sued Harvey, claiming he was passed over for promotion because he was white. The suburb promoted him to head the detective bureau and then spent $600,000 in settlements and legal fees in suits alleging he harassed or brutalized three people. One was a paralyzed man who said he was trying to videotape Gordan inappropriately searching a car. An appeals court threw out the paraplegic man's conviction for resisting arrest after a judge criticized Gordan for throwing the man out of his wheelchair. Harvey declined to release records showing if Gordan was disciplined for any incidents. Harvey gave him a service commendation last year....



Former Cmdr. Merritt Gentry
Gentry was fired by a previous mayor, accused of repeated misconduct, including failing to turn over evidence in a case in which a gang member was accused of shooting a Harvey cop. Gentry was rehired in 2003 after campaigning for Eric Kellogg. He was promoted to commander of the detectives division, but a few years later faced questions about testimony in the police shooting. Gentry initially gave testimony that helped a Vice Lord gang member's defense, but later recanted, claiming he lied earlier to spite an officer. That led prosecutors to raise questions about his relationship with the Vice Lords.

In a previous incident, a suspect claimed that during the interrogation Gentry ripped open his shirt, exposing tattoos matching those typically worn by Vice Lords, and said: "You guys killed one of us. He was a Vice Lord." Gentry denied that, denied he was a Vice Lord and said his tattoos — of a cane and the letter L — were innocently coincidental to the cane and letter L's used by the gang. A judge didn't believe it, threw out the suspect's confession and chastised Harvey for "something inappropriate happening" at the department, noting police "can't serve two masters." Harvey placed Gentry on paid leave and moved to fire him a year later. He resigned.

Former Det. Manuel Escalante Sr.

A federal jury concluded Escalante shot an unarmed teen in the back in 1997 and then planted a gun in an effort to frame the teen and cover up the improper shooting. He was accused of coercing a dying widow to leave her estate to Escalante and his wife. He settled that case with the widow's family but soon was sued by the attorney general. For $20,000, he had allowed the widow's 5-acre wooded lot to be turned into an illegal landfill, according to the suit, piled with construction debris mixed with petroleum waste. The case dragged on until Escalante agreed to pay a $2,000 fine. The state said it agreed to the sum because Escalante had declared bankruptcy.Escalante rose to become a detective. The chief testified last year Escalante was suspended for 30 days for failing to properly investigate cases assigned to him. Escalante left the force in May, for medical reasons."

Some Harvey police have controversial records - Chicago Tribune
 
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Or your point was not valid to the question. would you like to make an arguemnt why it should not be allowed other than embarrassment in scratching body parts?

I think I did make such an argument.
 
I voted yes, but think some safeguards should be in place to protect the officers.
An officer's actions might be the absolutely correct for a given situation,
but may not present well on a vest camera.
The videos may be public record, but think they should be sequestered until required
by the courts.

Nope. Public record. The only delay should be for pending investigations (to ensure fair trial) and then in that case the video should be made immediately available to prosecution and defense along with all other videos taken in the interim such as those taken during interviews and questioning.
 
5 years, and we'll have cameras that are tiny and decent quality, fisheye with infinite DOF, AND audio.

And I wager LEOs will be CLAMORING for them, as it protects them from us, more so than vice versa.
I wonder if they will clamor for them. Video has turned into a double-edged sword for them. Maybe it will depend on the inner integrity of the individual cop. :shrug:


I say Yes.Whether or not the statistics in the video is true I do not know or care.I do know that sometimes cops lie,many times suspects lie, some people that believe cop's **** do not stink and you have some people that believe that cops are evil incarnate. Video protects both the cops and suspects.
They do protect both, absolutely. They even the paying field, so to speak, and help us arrive at the truth.

How long should the recordings be saved? I read just recently (forget where, sorry) that in most jurisdictions that interrogation recordings are not required to be saved. "Required" being the key word. Accusations are that any recording that helps LE's case is saved, and anything that hurts LE's case is not.


I've seen a couple of those Bait Car shows. And not knowing they are being filmed, when the cops pull them over, they lie like rugs. And of course the cop knows they're lying because they've been watching them the whole time. If all cops have little cameras attached, and the folks they stop know they're being filmed, who knows, maybe cops will come across more creative lies. The same ones folks tell now must be getting boring. :mrgreen:
I love that show.


Thank you, Captain America!! I made the suggestion, and then immediately left to serve dinner. ;)

I'm sooooo all for this. And the results are irrefutable.

Not only will this encourage officers to be on their best professional behavior, but there's no doubt that some percentage of claims against officers are bogus. Having video evidence is going to save taxpayers money, protect suspects and protect police officers themselves.

I'm all for it.
I'm not there yet, but am strongly leaning in that direction.
 
Now the Union Lawton City Cops are VERY resistant to dash cams, body mics, and i'd imagine vest cams. In our area the LE has the benefit of the doubt to a very high degree, I doubt they would welcome anything that might contradict what they testify to as the actual event.
Police often like to say, "If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear."

Is this where we get to turn that sentiment back on them?
 
How long should the recordings be saved? I read just recently (forget where, sorry) that in most jurisdictions that interrogation recordings are not required to be saved. "Required" being the key word. Accusations are that any recording that helps LE's case is saved, and anything that hurts LE's case is not.
This is why a 3rd party should be responsible for handling and storing the recordings.
 
Absolutely they should as it would protect them from false allegations just as it protects people from harm or arrest that do not warrant it. They are already in all police cars, aren't they? Everybody is already filming them, as will I if ever confronted with a cop again. I only wish I had them when I was pulled over for BS a couple of times back in the day. Those cops would have been reprimanded or fired.
 
Absolutely they should as it would protect them from false allegations just as it protects people from harm or arrest that do not warrant it. They are already in all police cars, aren't they? Everybody is already filming them, as will I if ever confronted with a cop again. I only wish I had them when I was pulled over for BS a couple of times back in the day. Those cops would have been reprimanded or fired.

Yes, there are cameras in most cop cars these days but we are still seeing incidents where the LEOs are shutting down the cameras.
VIDEO: 2 Bloomfield cops indicted after dashboard video shows them hitting suspect Both officers were indicted in late January. They each pleaded not guilty and were released on their own recognizance after their court appearance Friday.

Prosecutors say the charges stem from the June 2012 arrest of 30-year-old Marcus Jeter, of Bloomfield, on charges of eluding, resisting arrest and assaulting an officer by punching him in the face.

Prosecutors dismissed charges against Jeter in April after an investigation, first reported by WABC-TV, turned up a dashboard video from one of two police cruisers that responded to the incident.

then more recently, the city of Baltimore has decided that paying $250,000 is cheaper than contesting a law suit:
City to pay $250,000 to man who claims police deleted video of an arrest Baltimore is set to pay $250,000 to a man who says police seized his cellphone and deleted the video of an arrest at the Preakness Stakes in 2010, according a settlement proposal that will be presented to the city's spending panel this month.

Police "vigorously" dispute the allegations by Christopher Sharp who claimed officers violated his First and Fourth Amendment rights when they took his phone after the arrest of his female friend at Pimlico Race Course.
 

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