Camera technology is relatively new and there has been very little empirical research conducted on the benefits of such cameras, but the general thinking among police managers is that when people know that they are being filmed, most people will behave more appropriately. And that includes the officers who are wearing the cameras
The usefulness of body-worn cameras for police officers is obvious. For one, they can protect officers in the event of misconduct allegations and from costly litigation. Second, an officer can sometimes diffuse a situation by just letting a belligerent person know they are being recorded. Third, they can provide valuable evidence and records of incidents, traffic stops, arrests and crime scenes.
Most of the body cameras police use either clip onto the front of their uniform shirt or are disguised as a shirt button. Popular body cams include a small pager-sized model that clips on the shirt. There are many models including button cameras with built-in digital video recorders that record either to internal memory or to a MicroSD card. Most of these cameras record at between 640 x 480 resolutions to 720 x 480 resolution. They also usually have a time/date stamp feature. Some are also waterproof and some have password protection as well. Many of these same cameras are available to the public for personal use.
The most advanced police body camera on the market today is a model that replaces the lapel handset mic on an officer’s uniform and connects to their radio. What it so advanced is the HD 1080p recording resolution, GPS geotagging, the LCD screen and the supervisor password protection? It also can be used a police car dashboard camera.
Police and law enforcement cameras come in all types: police body cameras, police car cameras, small and large, basic and state-of-the-art. In the new digital age, utilizing technologies that make life easier and people safer is a must. Advancements are constantly being integrated into exciting, new ways to create important tools for all of us.