Various American police forces make use of different items, techniques, and verbal skills to carry out their jobs from day to day, and one in particular is an in car video system, simply a recording camera in the police officer’s vehicle to record his/her interactions with other people, from citizens they pull over to help all the way to dangerous criminals whom the police confront and take into custody. If a situation becomes violent or gets out of control, recording it all with an in car video system can very helpful, and just the fact that an in car video system (that people can see) is present may affect how a situation plays out. Police officers may also make use of body cameras for a similar purpose, although such cameras work best only in the officer’s field of vision, and cannot record what happens besides or behind the officer. So, having a dash camera or other in car video equipment can help round out this recording setup for maximum effect.
The Effect of an In Car Video System
If an in car video system is in place, or if body cameras for police are employed, this can make a significant difference in how a situation may play out. They are more common now than earlier in the century; as of the year 2000, 11%, or 3,400, individual state police and highway patrol vehicles were equipped with in car video systems, but now, that figure has reached 72%, and it can have a big effect. For one example, the police force of Rialto, California, reported that the officers had a 60% drop in their use of force when they started using body cameras, and the Pew Research Center found similar results from its surveys. One such survey showed taht fully half of all officers, 50%, stated that using body cameras would make the police more likely to behave in an appropriate manner, and another Pew Research Center survey showed that 52% of all police department administrators claimed that police body cameras make the public more likely to cooperate with any police officers they come in contact with. Generally, these cameras result in an increase of police behavior and positive interaction between officers and citizens according to all parties involved, and in car police video systems may have a similar effect if the cameras are visible to the people the police interact with, plus other benefits.
According to Mobile-Vision, in car video systems can be useful as evidence of how a police officer’s interaction with citizens played out if a case ends up in court for one reason or another. After all, when people are put under pressure, this makes them more likely to react negatively (such as when police are involved), and they may even lash out if they feel threatened with persecution, so a situation may escalate quickly. To help contain this potential problem, a police car can have a dash camera in place so others can see it, and this makes citizens much less likely to misbehave around police since they know that their actions are being monitored. Such cameras may be able to also record what happens inside the cop car as well as outside of it, and even behind the car.
If a situation does become heated (or even violent), the recorded material from the car cam can be used in a court of law to prove what exactly happened. This can ensure that justice is carried out, and that there is no confusion of who did what (or did not do).