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  • digital recorders

    about two weeks ago, i came in to work after a few days off to fins out that i had a complaint filed against me and my graveyard partner. the woman alleged that we had been extremely rude and discourteous.
    a brief synopsis;
    i paced her at 90 mph in a 65 in slightly foggy conditions. i make contact and she explains that her daughter's friend calle her stating her daughter was possibly going to committ suicide and she was driving fast to go find her daughter. i asked if she knew where her daughter was and she said no. i asked if i could call the local PD of the town she thought she was at, in order to stop her. she said no. she kept picking up her cell phone to call her husband and i politely asked her not to..... and she was, in fact, the one who was being very rude and saying "not so nice" things to us. eventually, i cited her for 90 in a 65.
    she called and filed a complaint with my sgt. when i came back from days off, my sgt called us both in and explained the situation. My partner, whips out his digital recorder and says, "i got the whole stop here sarge!" sgt listens to it, we are exhonerated. i could have kissed my partner for recording it.
    i went out a week later and dropped $150 on a digital recorder with a USB hook up and a computer program to store the files. it is nice and slim to fit in a shirt pocket, lightweight, and hardly noticeable.
    i cannot recommend these more. especially out here in California where people think we as cops are supposed to be really nice to them and show THEM respect, and let them do whatever they want and walk all over us. if you even sound like you dont care about their problems, or you have to raise your voice because they arent listening, they call and complain. i am very happy with this puchase, especially at tax time when it gets written off.
    Last edited by CHPMarine; 07-15-2005, 07:15 AM.

  • #2
    Had a similar situation about a year and a half ago, but I did not have a recorder at the time. I ate some discipline for the incident, even though I (and my back-up at the time) were completly in the right. Since then, it goes on for every single stop, and dropped into the hard drive with the date and time of the stop. Kept for 6 months, and then deleted. CYA!
    In law enforcement, the customer is ALWAYS wrong.

    In God we trust. Everyone else is run through NCIC.

    Sometimes there is justice. Sometimes there is just us.

    I'd rather be tried by 12 then carried by 6.


    The opinions given in my posts do not necessarily reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are my personal opinions only.

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    • #3
      It's stuff like that why I'm glad we have video and audio recording of all our stops and calls...

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      • #4
        I've used the Olympus with the USB hook-up for the last 11 months and would not work a day without it again. Little thing has saved my bacon more then once. I save the files and then write them to CD every two weeks or so and have my own little library. It's a life saver.

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        • #5
          I use a Olympus V480-PC with USB its wonderful and picks up everyrhing around me. Anytime I answer domestics, 911 hangs, and perform traffic stops I record them and then take them home and download them, label them and hold on to them for one year. Even if everything goes fine and I see no reason to keep them, I STILL keep them. Because you never know.

          I learned a long time ago the ones you think will complain usually dont. And the ones who you think wont complain, becaus everything went so well, usually do.

          I got my recorder off of ebay for around $80.00 its not new, its a retread but it works just fine. I would never be caught without it now.

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          • #6
            One word of caution:

            Recording that stuff can also get you into trouble if you aren't careful. In Georgia, official recordings of traffic stops must be kept for a minimum period of time required by state law. I believe we must keep our videotapes for a minimum of four?? years. Since you are recording the stop in your official capacity as an officer, there may be requirements on how long you keep it and you maintain it.
            Sign here. Press hard. You are making five copies.

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            • #7
              Must be a GA thing.

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              • #8
                Thank God for whoever invented recorders. I have a mini-tape recorder that's put to rest every complaint I've gotten so far.

                How long will your digital record?

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                • #9
                  mine will go for something like 11 hours in each of 3 folders i believe. this weekend i arrested an "adam henry" and she was going off on me (like the females usually do) i told her (because i always look at situations in a humorous way) that my contact with her "may be recorded for for quality assurance purposes." she shut up after that. i dont record everything, and i usually dont tell people they are being recorded, you can get so much good stuff.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by CHPMarine
                    mine will go for something like 11 hours in each of 3 folders i believe. this weekend i arrested an "adam henry" and she was going off on me (like the females usually do) i told her (because i always look at situations in a humorous way) that my contact with her "may be recorded for for quality assurance purposes." she shut up after that. i dont record everything, and i usually dont tell people they are being recorded, you can get so much good stuff.
                    My car video camera has an internal passenger compartment microphone. Throw two bad guys in the back seat and wait outside. It is amazing what you will get.
                    Sign here. Press hard. You are making five copies.

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                    • #11
                      Our video cameras have remote mics that we keep on our belts and internal mics for inside the car. It's great when it works, but my audio system has been down for about six months. I can record video but no audio. I think I'll check into digital recorders...if they are that small then I'd be interested. Time to do more online shopping and spend more money I don't have
                      "He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still"

                      -Lao Tzu

                      "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."

                      -Reinhold Niebuhr

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                      • #12
                        One word of caution, these are simuliar to written notes and your need to download them and keep them seperate. If you have to use them in court and they are on more than one incident on the disc or recorder then they have a right to hear it all! Make sure that if you go to court there is only 'that' incident on anything your bring in.

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                        • #13
                          Another word of caution: If you use a digital recording and something comes up in trial (be it civil or criminal) and it was recorded on your digital recorder, the defense can theorhetically subpoena your device as it was the "orginal" document of recording. If you save the recording on your personal computer, that could be subpoenaed as well.

                          My advice is to use a mini tape recorder. That way if the original document gets subpoenaed, all you have to surrender is the tape.

                          That, and those digital things were too much of a pain in the *** for me.
                          You have no right to not be offended.-Neal Boortz

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                          • #14
                            True, but that would take a ****load of those mini-tapes, even if you rotated them out every month or two.
                            "He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still"

                            -Lao Tzu

                            "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."

                            -Reinhold Niebuhr

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              A few months ago I stopped a female whacko. The stop went down hill immediately. The digital recorder was going and caught all of her ranting and swearing and me complimenting her dogs for being so nice.

                              She calls to complain and after learning that the stop was recorded never returned the paperwork for the formal complaint. Go figure.
                              Job description as told by an old timer: "Drive fast cars, look at pretty women, and drink coffee".

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