Three Disadvantages to Police Car Video Systems
Did you know that nearly three quarters of police cars now have police car video cameras? This means that a large majority of police offers have video surveillance to back up their claim for speeding tickets, traffic violations, and other major or minor offenses.
For most people, this means that arguing in court, or claiming unfair treatment from an officer is not going to work much of the time. Police car video cameras can easily disprove a defendant that feels a cop is out of line, or lying.
There are many other benefits of installing police in car video systems, such as increased accountability, better training for rookie cops, and more safety for officers. But police departments may not realize that there are some drawbacks.
Here are a few of the disadvantages of car dash cams.
- Possible Decreased Performance. While some studies show that since police officers will be caught on tape, they utilize best practices during traffic stops and arrests, Police Chief Magazine reports that officers let their interviewing skills lag, and do not take note of their observations at a crime scene because they can always watch the tape later. This essentially reduces their observation skills.
- Limited View. The camera in a police car doesn’t always capture every part of an arrest. Because these video cameras are usually positioned on a dashboard (for frontal viewing), the line of sight they provide is often only in front of the vehicle. In order for an officer to get an arrest on video, he or she has to move the defendant in view of the camera, making it hard to get an accurate recording.
- Misuse. While we would like to believe that all police officers do their job with the highest level of integrity, and do not ever abuse their powers, history has shown that this is simply not the case. The American Civil Liberties Union explains that voyeurism, as well as racial profiling, can be the result of an officer who wants to abuse the system.
There are definitely several advantages to police car cameras, but it is important to evaluate the downsides as well. This will make for a higher quality, more accountable police department.