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Active real-time audio mikes in cars - legal?

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  • Duke
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • agentoranger
    replied
    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....

    Leave a comment:


  • bdozer7812
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • DeltaCop
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • deebo29577
    replied
    If they want to monitor what

    Leave a comment:


  • jerrymaccauley
    replied
    The best way to stop any monitoring of a vehicle mike is do what Photogrrlz just said. If everyone began singing along to a country station, I guarantee the brass would shut off the receiver. I'm sure it's just an attempt to make the officers think twice about verbally abusing their supervisors.

    Leave a comment:


  • Creeker
    replied
    I just talked to one of the guys I used to work with . He was telling me that they have a microwave video uplink on order to be mounted on the helicopter, so that a Commander on the ground can see the same thing the Video cam is seeing from the air, real time. I would also suppose that it isn't unreasonable to believe it could be seen at HQ as well.

    Leave a comment:


  • HCSO511
    replied
    they will get these on the OFFICER SAFETY excuse but what practical use will recorded cars have? there is nothing about them a dash cam couldnt do. and most time if you are in contact with someone your cam should be on so what other reason could there be for audio other than to see what your up too. im like the rest of the guys said, if my department didnt trust me or the other employees anymore than that i would move on.

    Leave a comment:


  • K9 Gunner
    replied
    Our highway patrol (Ohio) is supposed to be getting new digital in car cameras that dispatch can monitor, video and sound. Now I dont know if that is only when the lights are on and the camera is activated, or at any time? If we have any OSP troopers on here they may be able to verify. Our agency looked at it until they saw the cost.

    Leave a comment:


  • Creeker
    replied
    At my former Agency back in the early 90's when the "new" Motorola 800megs were installed, we were advised that our Mic could be opened without any warning to the occupants of the vehicle...supposedly was to be some type of Hostage negotiation advantage in case we were ever taken Hostage in out cruiser or something... (I'd like to see the stats on the number of times THAT has happened). To my knowledge this was never used... However I have known guys that accidentally SAT on their mic for lengths of time... and in a few cases there seemed to be something erotic going on in the background (which will happen when you have full personal use ) The downside is that the COMMS knew exactly which car did it and there were a few wives/girlfriends working in there.

    Leave a comment:


  • Tim Dees
    replied
    Many years ago, the communications operators at a law enforcement agency I will not name discovered that their consoles were "bugged." They all knew that anything they said on the phone or over the radio was recorded, but they didn't know that there were separate recorded channels for everything that was said AT the console, on the air or not. The city wound up paying settlements to everyone that worked there during the affected period, and the center director took early retirement. But I don't think they would have had a claim if there had been notice of the monitoring.

    Employers can record and monitor just about everything that doesn't involve a reasonable expectation of privacy (like locker/changing rooms and rest rooms), but there usually has to be notice.

    Leave a comment:


  • DaveNT
    replied
    Our Comms operators have the ability to listen in to our patrol cars via the digital radios fitted. This is for safety only and is never used. Just in case, I have given up singing along to the radio whilst working one up.

    Leave a comment:


  • L-1
    replied
    Originally posted by DUI_eliminator
    There is a thing called A.B. 301 (Police Officers Bill of Rights). There are rules that even the agencies have to follow.
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Photogrrlz
    replied
    I would afraid to sing in the cruiser to a good song...or heck pass gas or burp....

    As others have said I would not want to work for such a place like that...


    Talk about micromanagement

    Leave a comment:


  • scooterlee
    replied
    Why would you want to wire the cruisers? Sounds like management has some issues in that agency!!! I'd look for another place of employment.

    Good Luck w/ that one!

    Leave a comment:

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