Anyone has an idea on what is the percentage of police departments currently using body worn cameras?
Not only does it reduce police violence/misconduct but it also help fill in the gap... that is when the camera works correctly. As I understand it from a few police officers I know, some cameras have a couple of steps to engage the camera and start the recording. While I would personally turn it on as soon as I arrived on the scene, I know there are times that you arrive and hit the ground running. Imho, who is going to remember to turn the darn thing on if you're being attacked? Much less if you have to go through more than one step? Too easy to say the cop didn't turn his camera on...but most don't understand how quickly things happen. The last thing I'm going to think about is turning my camera on when I'm being attacked. I'm sure I'm speaking to the choir here. Having said that, I do believe it should be mandatory in all police departments however I understand that some depts. have limited budgets. Its just a good thing that most of these body worn cameras don't cost very much.
As for the video shown here, I was rudely awaken to the character/nature and size of Michael Brown. The video, for me, shows a very large individual with agressive tendencies. A far cry from the "innocent, law-abiding" citizen I first envisioned. Granted I only caught glimpses of what has been occuring until I saw this video so my opinion on the situation was taken off of very little information.
Btw, the store where the surveillance video was recorded is trying to dissociate itself with the police:
"The owner of the store dispute the claim that they or an employee called 911, saying a customer inside the store made the call. They also say St. Louis County issues the warrants for the hard drive of surveillance video Friday.... The attorney says this market has been in the community for a long time and they hope to continue serving this community."
The store has been looted.
I am also a police officer. I work in a small agency in a small county. Though I don't believe each department in our county has made them mandatory, most officers have and use body worn cameras as well as car cams and Taser cams.
The one thing we don't like about Taser cams (and I think the gun cams would present the same problem) is that recording starts the moment you activate the Taser. Usually by that point the recording has missed most of the beligerant rantings of the suspect. Then the video mostly shows compliance as the bad guys usually change their attitudes. Car cameras can be set to "back up" and record the previous 60 seconds or so. That way the video shows, for instance, why you stoppped the suspect in the first place.
But another thought on police cams is... What happened to our testimony? It is sad that there is so much distrust in law enforcement that our word is not good enough. But I also understand where that mistrust comes from sometimes. I personally like the cameras. And I really like my cameras when someone complains on me wrongly not knowing the whole thing is recorded.
By the way, we use Muvi HD Pro micro cams. Love them. Less than $100. Hey! this might be a good review for you guys???
This is the most common model/style around here :
I mostly use mine on traffic stops so there is usually enough light. Even when not, the audio seems to do the job anyway. Better than nothing I guess. It looks like this is going to open the door up to some new product development to address the low light issue. I bet it would be difficult to achieve low lux with todays tech. Even if IR that tiny could throw far enough to benifit, the glow would create a target right on our chest to shoot at.
We have actually just ordered this model. Our current models are lower resolution. But even those produced amazing results in decent light. Can't wait for the new one to get here. But I am a camera geek too.
We looked at the one you linked but decided that they might be too large and cumbersome on our uniforms though the added features are probably worth it.
Ferguson just released a statement saying they're committed to raising funds to add dash and vest cameras to their units. Bullet point 3 below.