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Active real-time audio mikes in cars - legal?

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  • #16
    If they want to monitor what

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    • #17
      The City Department I retired from last year is spending $10,000 worth of Federal grant money to install real time monitors in the units that work through the car video system. This will enable the management to log onto the city PD mainframe from anywhere, even at home, to monitor both video and audio when a car camera is running. The Officer will not even know that he is being monitored. This could enable the brass to sit in their drawers at home and watch any officer from their computer screen.

      This is a Dept. where the tapes from the Officers cars are viewed at random by management and the Officers written up for petty infractions by order of the COP. One Officer was written up for cussing under his breath when the Officer was by himself.

      This is total bull**** and a waste of taxpayers money that could be better used on pay or equipment. Another example of "Control by Fear", and an effective killer of already low morale.

      Glad Im gone!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      DeltaCop
      "For those who fight for it, Life has a meaning that the sheltered will never know"

      Unknown Marine
      Khe Sanh

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      • #18
        I am sure the recording issue will vary state-to-state. For instance, in my state, Illinois, audio recording is illegal unless all parties involved give permission. But, I also know that the all-knowing Supreme Court ruled that you have no right to privacy at work, i.e. using company email and such.

        Could be interesting.

        Thanks,
        stay safe

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        • #19
          I have thought about this issue myself. We currently have Mobile Video Recorders in our cars, but they can only be turned on manually or when the overhead lights are activated. Even when the overhead lights are activated, the audio portion does not turn on unless it is manually activated as well. Also, activating the audio portion automatically turns on the video portion. We do not have GPS yet, but we are getting it. We are also getting new digital MVR's.

          The rumor is not that admin will be able monitor us live all the time but that supposedly anything said or done ten minutes prior to when the MVR was last activated will be stored into the memory (the new MVR's supposedly record all the time but delete info. not used within the last ten minutes). In theory, you could then stop a car that you and another Officer have been watching and the conversation you had prior to the stop would also be available for review and discovery in Court. There are many other scenarios that could happen with the new technology I assume as well...

          I suppose they will have to tell us the exact specifications of the new system so that we know whether or not we are being recorded 24/7 but who knows. It does seem that since we are inside Government property we can be recorded, but the audio portion of the mic would still be on our body when we walk away from the car. I cannot see them being able to record a conversation I have when on break at my house, but I guess they could say whether or not I was on break I was still on duty. Hopefully someone from another agency on this forum has further info....

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          • #20
            Originally posted by L-1
            I don't think POBR covers this area. As long as you are given advance notice I don't think there is much you can do. It's just like our emails, It's a violation of state law to break into someone's account and read their emails. However, somewhere in the HPMs we are given advance notice that as a condition of employment, the Department does monitor our emails. Because we are using their system and they have given us advance notice, I don't think there is much we can do legally.

            I suspect what is being discussed is a video recorder with audio that runs all the time rather than when you flip on the reds. I believe that in such cases you can turn your wireless mike off at will.
            AB301 spells out what the agency can do to your locker:

            3309. No public safety officer shall have his locker, or other space for storage that may be assigned to him searched except in his presence, or with his consent, or unless a valid search warrant has been obtained or where he has been notified that a search will be conducted. This section shall apply only to lockers or other space for storage that are owned or leased by the employing agency.
            Officer, I borrowed these pants!

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