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  • Austin Police- Body Cameras

    SAN ANTONIO -- Body cameras for officers are being touted as the next wave in policing.
    Austin police are trying body cams for the first time this weekend. The idea is to capture a video record of incidences and take some of the guesswork out of investigations.
    For years, law enforcement has relied on dash cams to record what happens when officers step out of their vehicles. Now, that technology is being upgraded to the next level in the form of body cams police officers can wear.

    When the crowd gets rough and a confrontation is imminent, officers can flip a switch and record what’s actually happening.

    “So specific little details that you may or may not remember after the fact, you’ll be able to review your video and say ‘okay, this is exactly what transpired during the event,’” explained Austin police officer Michael Schultheis.

    At a press conference in Austin on Wednesday, April 6, 2011, police announced they’ll be testing nine different systems over the next 30 to 60 days with officers in their downtown area.

    It’s a system that could even help protect officers from false allegations of misconduct.

    “Once we have these systems in place in the next few years, it will have evidence that will either prove or help disprove any allegations,” said Austin’s police chief Art Acevedo.

    The individual body cams aren’t cheap, ranging in price from $800 to $3600 per unit. As the technology becomes more common, the cost will probably come down substantially.

    Beyond legal issues, the videos will also be useful in training future lawmen, showing them real-life scenarios where police officers handled a situation well or poorly.




    Man... I hope this doesn't spread across the state..

  • #2
    In the not too distant future, we will ALL be wearing them!

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    • #3
      We have been using them for a while now. Get used to the idea......its going to happen.

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      • #4
        It's absolutely ridiculous... Police Officers have no credibility these days... to me this is more about micromanaging the troops and being big brother than for court purposes.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Se7en View Post
          . The idea is to capture a video record of incidences and take some of the guesswork out of investigations.
          .
          You got to love the media

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          • #6
            when the head of the NAACP and the Texas Civil Rights Project are standing there saying what a great idea it is, i'm starting to think the cameras may not be for the officers benefit.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Se7en View Post
              It's absolutely ridiculous... Police Officers have no credibility these days... to me this is more about micromanaging the troops and being big brother than for court purposes.
              If police officers have no credibility, then the camera recordings will be useful in court. We have them in our cars, and inn my experience, supervisors don't want to watch videos all day. The only time anyone looks at the video is when there is a complaint, or for court.
              Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. -- Aldous Huxley
              Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity. -- Albert Einstein

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              • #8
                Originally posted by tomk View Post
                when the head of the NAACP and the Texas Civil Rights Project are standing there saying what a great idea it is, i'm starting to think the cameras may not be for the officers benefit.
                Exactly...

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by tomk View Post
                  when the head of the NAACP and the Texas Civil Rights Project are standing there saying what a great idea it is, i'm starting to think the cameras may not be for the officers benefit.
                  These people have very skewed views of what happens in the field. The recordings are useful to show that the people who make the complaints are lying.

                  I do agree that the whole concept is offensive to police officers; however, the police are at least partly to blame. Officers today are suffering because of what some of their predecessors did.
                  Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. -- Aldous Huxley
                  Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity. -- Albert Einstein

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I laugh when I hear "Old" cops talk about how it used to be back in the day. Now keep in mind Im hitting 14 years. I tell them, yeah, thatnks for all the case law that I have to deal with .

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                    • #11
                      My issue is if the department has credibility issues with it's officers than maybe it should reevaluate it's hiring standards. We have GPS in the cars that show where we're at, how fast we're going, how long we've been sitting. We have camera's in the cars that are used to record traffic stops, and some departments require those audio mics on at any contact with a citizen. Yeah, they're beneficial to squash complaints, but at the same time, in most departments the people watching the video's haven't been on the streets in a while and their perception may be different on how a situation is handled... ie "monday morning quarterback".

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Se7en View Post
                        My issue is if the department has credibility issues with it's officers than maybe it should reevaluate it's hiring standards. We have GPS in the cars that show where we're at, how fast we're going, how long we've been sitting. We have camera's in the cars that are used to record traffic stops, and some departments require those audio mics on at any contact with a citizen. Yeah, they're beneficial to squash complaints, but at the same time, in most departments the people watching the video's haven't been on the streets in a while and their perception may be different on how a situation is handled... ie "monday morning quarterback".
                        Credibility problems stem from the actions of all police departments, not just the one that employs you. You can have the most trustworthy officers in the world, and jurors will disbleieve them simply because they are police officers.
                        Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. -- Aldous Huxley
                        Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity. -- Albert Einstein

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by DAL View Post
                          Credibility problems stem from the actions of all police departments, not just the one that employs you. You can have the most trustworthy officers in the world, and jurors will disbleieve them simply because they are police officers.
                          That's going to change with video camera's on officers? We've already seen what Youtube has done... the citizen watches the police use lawful force, but their perception is it's excessive because they do not know better.. there will just be more of that... and more hesitation by officers to act on situations.

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                          • #14
                            Suuuuure.... this is so officers can write a more detailed report. Has nothing to do with supervisors going on witch hunts at all! /sarcasm

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                            • #15
                              To me the reports should be easier with those things.

                              On the above date and time, I was dispatched to the above location in reference to a blah blah blah.

                              See attached video for details.

                              No further action taken.
                              "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called Sons of God - Matthew 5:9

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