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Bodycams. What issues to look out for?

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  • Bodycams. What issues to look out for?

    Bodycams are coming to my job and I was hoping some guys who have been wearing them for a while would advise on what to look out for while wearing them. Administratively and in the field. Any unknown pitfalls or problems you've experienced with them and any other advice you can provide would be welcome. Also any questions I should ask in the training? And has any case law come from them yet? Especially interested if it is from admin abuse of the cameras.

    A lot of the guys I work with are concerned with the cams primarily being used as a discipline tool against us. Unfortunately I fear that is probably how they will be used most often.

  • #2
    Read and understand your agency policy. When is it needs to be turned on and when it is OK to turn off. No camera on the market will be able to run an entire shift, much less the department being able to manage and store all of the video footage.

    Know what the limits of the equipment. Figure out the best placement of the camera (if not dictated by department policy). Certain body types will require different placement to be effective.

    I'm not personally aware of any administrative abuse (so far), however I do know of at least one officer who was disciplined due after a citizen complaint and subsequent validation using body cam footage.
    Getting shot hurts! Don't under estimate the power of live ammo. A .22LR can kill you! I personally feel that it's best to avoid being shot by any caliber. Your vest may stop the bullet, but you'll still get a nice bruise or other injury to remember the experience.

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    • #3
      The biggest problem seen at my department is that our particular cams can fall off during struggles with non-cooperative subjects. Not always, but occasionally.
      Ours clip on the uniform, either as a replacement mic for the radio, or as a standalone unit. I have seen the kind that attach to a shirt button. Seems pretty secure.
      SUPPORT COP RUN BUSINESSES!!
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      In 2016, the sales of my LEO related decals allowed me to donate over $400 to LE/ Military related charities... THANK YOU!!! Check them out HERE...

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      • #4
        Enjoy the head aches!
        -Finding secure mass storage for the terabytes of video.
        -Hiring, or appointing, a person to do video editing for video releases to the public and media(editing out sensitive info.)
        -Hiring, or appointing, a person to do discoveries on those videos to attorneys.
        -Accidental recordings of officers. Such as talking about who they hate in the department, going to the bathroom, etc.
        -Developing a reasonable, yet fair, policy that records events but doesn't throw your officers under the bus on missed recordings.

        Honestly it's all worth it in the end. I've personally had 3 citizen complaints dismissed on me because the alleged violations that they were complaining about were recorded....and obviously never happened.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by HI629 View Post
          I'm not personally aware of any administrative abuse (so far)
          Give it time. It took a few years with the AVL system in our cars, but now its a witch hunt. I have no doubt body cameras will be the same way.
          I make my living on Irish welfare.

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          • #6
            My department has only been involved in one issue, and that was the camera would record when you didn't want it to. A lot of officers were aware it was recording after the first beep, but the first 2 minutes were recorded. Some conversations were relatively funny, while others were not so good......

            We since changed to a newer upgraded version of AXON camera's and these are much better (1080P, magnetic clipping, and instant on). Our previous cameras required about 15 seconds to boot and then record, these new ones take about 1.5 seconds.

            However, to answer your question you're going to have to change your verbage a lot, and do things differently especially if you have done things the same for so long. You can no longer call someone a "**** bag" for being a **** bag... just be conscious.

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            • #7
              Sure put a damper on beating off at work...
              Now go home and get your shine box!

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              • #8
                Make sure it's off while cooping

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                • #9
                  Last edited by swat_op506; 11-08-2016, 11:39 AM.
                  SUPPORT COP RUN BUSINESSES!!
                  SUPPORT LEO BUSINESSES!



                  In 2016, the sales of my LEO related decals allowed me to donate over $400 to LE/ Military related charities... THANK YOU!!! Check them out HERE...

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                  • #10
                    Just behave yourself and go with the flow. If you are a good cop, you already know what is right and what is wrong.
                    My comments are my personal opinion and are based on my life experiences and training. They are not to be construed as legal advice in any form as I am not an attorney. Should you act on any of the information I provide in my comments, you do so at your own risk!!

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                    • #11
                      Biggest issues we're running into with the taser axon 2 is them falling off during chases/fights etc., the mic being super sensitive (picking up phone calls of others and sometimes even the other end of the conversation), video goes back 30 seconds prior to activation so videos are capturing officers texting and looking at less than ideal things.
                      In Valor there is hope

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                      • #12
                        Make sure they turn on first of all lol
                        USAF VETERAN 2004-2012
                        "The sheep pretend the wolf will never come, but the sheepdog lives for that day."-LTC Grossman
                        DA Security Guard, APG MD (GS-5 Step 06)
                        COE:
                        VA Police Officer (GS-6), Baltimore/Perry Point MD

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                        • #13
                          We use AXON and we love them. They have helped out a couple times with civilian complaints as well as helped in cases. Being able to look back at footage that took place in a high stress situation helps a lot. Just be careful when talking to other Officers while still recording. They will pick up EVERYTHING.

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                          • #14
                            I just finished Provision Bodycam. Out of 20+ pieces, every single one had different battery life under same settings. Non ever reached battery life promised. First of all Provision claimed it was due to firmware, but did nothing to help us out, later reseller informed that according to Provision management this is not the camera problem. But we liked the grip and overall build. Unfortunately we did return those to reseller and went for Getac.

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                            • #15
                              primarily being used as a discipline tool against us.
                              That's exactly what they are for. The department owns the video not you. It will only ever be used to help you if it helps the department.

                              Also, once there is video of an incident your word is worthless. If it isn't on video or audio it didn't happen.
                              "I am a Soldier. I fight where I'm told and I win where I fight." -- GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

                              "With a brother on my left and a sister on my right, we face…. We face what no one should face. We face, so no one else would face. We are in the face of Death." -- Holli Peet

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