Wednesday, September 30, 2009

It's a Start

I have said for some time, that everything a cop does needs to be recorded. LAPD installing video cameras in cruisers - Press-Telegram

Each car will get 2 cameras: one facing front, and one covering the rear seat. Audio will be captured by a mic the cops wear. Everything will be streamed to police stations, not stored in the cars.
Recording will begin once a patrol car's lights and siren are activated. The footage will then be wirelessly transmitted to computers at police stations, where supervisors can view but not
alter it.

"It will change the way that people look at this police department, and the way that this police dDepartment looks at the folks that is serves," [Deputy Police Chief Charlie] Beck said.
It won't cover everything. Maybe that's OK.

This whole thing is supposed to help with lawsuits. Cops know they are being watched. People they interact with know they are being watched. If an allegation comes up... look at the video.

300 cars (of the 1600 total) will be outfitted with cameras to start. That is 18.75 percent. A decent start.

I still think one of the cameras should go with the officer - though to be fair, small, wearable video cameras are still expensive.

It only took 19 years to implement this. Video recording of police actions were first called for after the 1991 Rodney King beating. Technology has come a long way, but I doubt the only roadblock was technology.

Now that LAPD has embraced technology, it is time for other departments to do the same.

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