New bills about cops

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A-R
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Re: New bills about cops

#31

Post by A-R » Fri Apr 10, 2015 3:44 am

psijac wrote:
nightmare69 wrote:
steveincowtown wrote:
You prepared to foot the bill? Many small departments cannot afford the cost and upkeep of body cams. I've personally gone through 3 shoulder mics in less than a year. I would love to have a body cam but my dept and many others simply cannot afford them.

I hope that one day body cameras become so common place for police officers that your statement will become as silly as saying, "Many small departments cannot afford the cost and upkeep of handguns"
Actually, many small departments do not supply firearms and the individual officer must supply his/her own personal firearms.

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Re: New bills about cops

#32

Post by A-R » Fri Apr 10, 2015 3:47 am

mojo84 wrote:
nightmare69 wrote:
steveincowtown wrote:
A-R wrote:The appropriate distance away from a police investigation is far enough that your presence does not create a dangerous distraction.
Not disputing that police need space to work. Again though, I have had seen zero videos where someone filming caused a dangerous situation. I have seen lots where LEOs have decided to engage people filming them. To my knowledge there is also zero proof (anecdotal or on the record) that someone filming a cop has caused a dangerous distraction that caused an incident.

I will concede that the majority of people who make a habit out of filming the police are children. If LEOs were smart they would treat them as such and ignore them. As soon as people quit getting that "gotcha" moment from LEO, I imagine they will find a new hobby.

On the topic of body cameras, the real data shows that when cops wear body cameras EVERYONE (including them) behaves better.

http://www.policefoundation.org/content ... -use-force" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
"The findings suggest more than a 50% reduction in the total number of incidents of use-of-force compared to control-conditions, and nearly ten times more citizens’ complaints in the 12-months prior to the experiment."
I hope TX passes some sort of bill to require body cameras.
You prepared to foot the bill? Many small departments cannot afford the cost and upkeep of body cams. I've personally gone through 3 shoulder mics in less than a year. I would love to have a body cam but my dept and many others simply cannot afford them.

The above bolded section of the quote and the below quote illustrate exactly what I'm talking about. It's not budget, it's priorities and preferences. Many cops don't want the cameras so they blame budgets as the reason not to get them. I don't think budget is the reason and these two posts illustrate that. Both of these quotes came from the same officer talking about the same department acquiring equipment. I would prioritize cameras over most of the SWAT gear for the regular university campus cop. They can always call on the SWAT team when they need SWAT gear used.

I'm not attacking anyone and I know no one is going to limit me to a revolver. We at the university will never get a MRAP or full autos, we may one day however have everything that Swat has. Shields and breaching tools are something we are looking into getting.
viewtopic.php?f=83&t=75027&start=75" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I think you're taking his quote out of context and comparing apples to oranges. But I'll let him answer more directly.

I'm basing this on the cost of a few breaching tools and shields for a small SWAT team vs the cost of equipment, upkeep, repairs, and storage for EVERY officer in a department to have a constant loop recording body camera.

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Re: New bills about cops

#33

Post by mojo84 » Fri Apr 10, 2015 7:59 am

A-R, I dont know how much you think these body cameras cost. You keep talking about budget and small departments and then talking like the cameras and upkeep are some huge budget breaker and upkeep issue. A little research will tell you, that is not the case. I even provided a link to where departments can get grants to help pay for them and other equipment.

Here is an example, http://wolfcomusa.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;. For less than $500 per camera, they can get the tricked out model and another optionfor less the. $250 per. Then $175 for the software to manage the data if it is needed.

I believe that is manageable, especially for small departments that want to gear up their officers with other more tactical equipment.

I wasn't blank g the other poster. I just used his comments to illustrate what goes on when it comes to equipment purchases. It comes down to priorities and cops prefer cool stuff over body cameras. That's just human nature. I would also.

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Re: New bills about cops

#34

Post by nightmare69 » Fri Apr 10, 2015 11:16 am

psijac wrote:
nightmare69 wrote:
steveincowtown wrote:
You prepared to foot the bill? Many small departments cannot afford the cost and upkeep of body cams. I've personally gone through 3 shoulder mics in less than a year. I would love to have a body cam but my dept and many others simply cannot afford them.

I hope that one day body cameras become so common place for police officers that your statement will become as silly as saying, "Many small departments cannot afford the cost and upkeep of handguns"
They don't buy our firearms. I own everything on my belt with the exception of my ammo and taser holster.
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Re: New bills about cops

#35

Post by Cedar Park Dad » Fri Apr 10, 2015 1:22 pm

I know full well these concerns will fall on deaf ears. I fully expect mandatory body cams in the next year. Hopefully this wont be the straw they breaks the camel's back. But an exodus of good, experienced cops out of the profession is already being documented nationwide.
If body cams make cops leave they shouldn't be wearing a badge in the first place.


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Re: New bills about cops

#36

Post by steveincowtown » Fri Apr 10, 2015 2:03 pm

Cedar Park Dad wrote:
I know full well these concerns will fall on deaf ears. I fully expect mandatory body cams in the next year. Hopefully this wont be the straw they breaks the camel's back. But an exodus of good, experienced cops out of the profession is already being documented nationwide.
If body cams make cops leave they shouldn't be wearing a badge in the first place.
Ain't that the truth.

Without going into what I do for a living, we put cameras in different areas of my workplace last year. Most employees just went with the flow but three were LIVID. Of those three...

- One made a very costly mistake involving toxic chemicals. As per our policy he was drug tested immediately. Tested positive for pot and cocaine on a urinalysis panel. For those that don't know to test positive for cocaine on a panel you have to have done it within the past 24 hours.

- One left for another company, and was fired within a month for stealing.

- One started cross dressing. Not sure what that had to do with the cameras, other than he was just a nut.

My point is that if you are doing your job right, a camera is not your enemy.
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Re: New bills about cops

#37

Post by mojo84 » Fri Apr 10, 2015 3:49 pm

Another example of why I believe body cameras are a necessity. What if the news helicopter wasn't above filming. I bet the officers involved would have one heck of a good story justifying how the beating was the only way to subdue and secure the perp or that he was injured falling from the horse. Unfortunately, such measures as body cameras and dashcam are needed.

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/a1f83461 ... eing-horse" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: New bills about cops

#38

Post by A-R » Fri Apr 10, 2015 8:33 pm

Mojo84, I greatly appreciate the spirited but respectful debate. As I've said, I'm not budget expert but here is a story that outlines $55 per camera per month just for off site data storage (and who knows if this "cloud" storage is secure enough to stand up to future legal challenges).

http://mobile.blogs.wsj.com/cio/2015/04 ... structure/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

About "secure enough" remember, it's not only the cops who are recorded. Everyone who comes in contact with body-cam wearing cops is recorded. All ( or some) becomes open record at some point. Cop identifies you by name, address, DL/CHL #, DOB, SS# etc ON CAMERA. And that includes every one of us call-911-and-be-a-good-witness types.

Sure, private info can be redacted - but at what cost in man hours to do so? Not to mention all the Alex Jones types who will scream cover up for every redacted second of video.

The rhetorical cautions about rushing into body cams are out there to read. Just heard some high-ranking LE personnel discussing these very issues with Texas Legislature on news radio story this morning.

Anyway, you make some good points and my opinion on the whole body cam idea is still in flux. Just wish there were more/better safeguards, especially when it comes to the court of public opinion that will soon label any critical incident not recorded by body cam video as automatically suspicious and evidence of a cover up. Something like the Ch.9 Penal Code portion that basically says lack of retreat may not be considered by a finder of fact to determine culpability. How about failure to produce a video recording may not be considered a factor in determining culpability.

I do, however, find your attempt to paint the budget issue as merely an issue of choosing "toys" over body cams a bit lacking in substance.


****

As for CedarParkDad, you've made your opinion clear. I don't care to continue discussing it with someone as narrow minded and obviously anti-cop as you.

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Re: New bills about cops

#39

Post by A-R » Fri Apr 10, 2015 8:38 pm

steveincowtown wrote:
Cedar Park Dad wrote:
I know full well these concerns will fall on deaf ears. I fully expect mandatory body cams in the next year. Hopefully this wont be the straw they breaks the camel's back. But an exodus of good, experienced cops out of the profession is already being documented nationwide.
If body cams make cops leave they shouldn't be wearing a badge in the first place.
Ain't that the truth.

Without going into what I do for a living, we put cameras in different areas of my workplace last year. Most employees just went with the flow but three were LIVID. Of those three...

- One made a very costly mistake involving toxic chemicals. As per our policy he was drug tested immediately. Tested positive for pot and cocaine on a urinalysis panel. For those that don't know to test positive for cocaine on a panel you have to have done it within the past 24 hours.

- One left for another company, and was fired within a month for stealing.

- One started cross dressing. Not sure what that had to do with the cameras, other than he was just a nut.

My point is that if you are doing your job right, a camera is not your enemy.

The camera per se is not the enemy, it's the expectations that the camera will show/tell all in perfectly accurate detail that is the enemy. Video is but one facet of piecing together the truth of an incident (along with statements , physical evidence , forensics etc). My concern is not got the camera itself but the excessive influence of the camera as the end all be all of evidencing the truth.

Soon it will no longer be enough for a cop to do everything right. He'll also have to be sure to do it right and get it all accurately recorded on camera.
Last edited by A-R on Fri Apr 10, 2015 8:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: New bills about cops

#40

Post by A-R » Fri Apr 10, 2015 8:48 pm

Just found this report, and obviously have not read it all, but the below quote is illustrative:

http://www.justice.gov/iso/opa/resource ... 246869.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Although the initial costs of purchasing the cameras can be steep, many police executives said that data storage is the most expensive aspect of a body-worn camera program . “Data storage costs can be crippling,” said Chief Aden of Greenville . Captain Thomas Roberts of Las Vegas agreed . “Storing videos over the long term is an ongoing, extreme cost that agencies have to anticipate,” said Roberts .

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Re: New bills about cops

#41

Post by mojo84 » Fri Apr 10, 2015 9:11 pm

A-R, I too have enjoyed and appreciate the debate. Please don't think I think the officers or departments want to buy "toys" vs body cams. I do believe some things are cooler than others and human nature leads us to the cool and exciting. I also think the budget argument and lack of data storage are just an excuses.

How do the departments handle dash cam videos now? I know of some that automatically upload when the car arrives at the station to the departments server or cloud. Once uploaded it is kept for a period of time. Then it is written over after thirty, sixty, ninety etc days ( not sure how long). If they need the video, they can go in and save the part of it they need and process it as evidence with their chain of custody procedures.

Complaining it isn't feasible due to budget constraints and data storage issues is just a red herring being thrown out there by cops that don't want the cameras on them as they don't want the videos used against them. I think the video will corroborate their story and vindicate them more often than hurt them. I believe cops do much more right than they do bad.

One final argument, they are already doing what they say they can't to do. They have dash cams. For example, Boerne PD has an MRAP. The money they spend on upkeep and maintenance of that piece of military equipment that I am not aware of them using once would fund the body cams for the entire department.

Again, I encourage you to contact your county auditor or city treasurer and request a copy of their budgets. You'll be surprised how you're money is being spent. I can share my FOIA request with you if you would like.

Here's another example of priorities that I've mentioned. Kendall County has spent several million dollars buying land for wilderness parks that get little use. That would find lots of body cameras, data storage and cool equipment.

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Re: New bills about cops

#42

Post by mojo84 » Fri Apr 10, 2015 9:13 pm

A-R wrote:Just found this report, and obviously have not read it all, but the below quote is illustrative:

http://www.justice.gov/iso/opa/resource ... 246869.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Although the initial costs of purchasing the cameras can be steep, many police executives said that data storage is the most expensive aspect of a body-worn camera program . “Data storage costs can be crippling,” said Chief Aden of Greenville . Captain Thomas Roberts of Las Vegas agreed . “Storing videos over the long term is an ongoing, extreme cost that agencies have to anticipate,” said Roberts .

Remember how many millions of dollars the university chancellors said it would cost them if campus carry passed. I think this is similar.

Here you go. They estimated $50 million. http://www.star-telegram.com/news/polit ... 21075.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


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Re: New bills about cops

#43

Post by MechAg94 » Fri Apr 10, 2015 9:34 pm

mojo84 wrote:A-R, I too have enjoyed and appreciate the debate. Please don't think I think the officers or departments want to buy "toys" vs body cams. I do believe some things are cooler than others and human nature leads us to the cool and exciting. I also think the budget argument and lack of data storage are just an excuses.

How do the departments handle dash cam videos now? I know of some that automatically upload when the car arrives at the station to the departments server or cloud. Once uploaded it is kept for a period of time. Then it is written over after thirty, sixty, ninety etc days ( not sure how long). If they need the video, they can go in and save the part of it they need and process it as evidence with their chain of custody procedures.

Complaining it isn't feasible due to budget constraints and data storage issues is just a red herring being thrown out there by cops that don't want the cameras on them as they don't want the videos used against them. I think the video will corroborate their story and vindicate them more often than hurt them. I believe cops do much more right than they do bad.

One final argument, they are already doing what they say they can't to do. They have dash cams. For example, Boerne PD has an MRAP. The money they spend on upkeep and maintenance of that piece of military equipment that I am not aware of them using once would fund the body cams for the entire department.

Again, I encourage you to contact your county auditor or city treasurer and request a copy of their budgets. You'll be surprised how you're money is being spent. I can share my FOIA request with you if you would like.

Here's another example of priorities that I've mentioned. Kendall County has spent several million dollars buying land for wilderness parks that get little use. That would find lots of body cameras, data storage and cool equipment.
I would bet it is not really the LEO's that will complain about budgets at least in major cities. I bet the City of Houston could afford them just fine, but the politicians might have to cut a pet project or two to pay for it. However, there are smaller and poorer counties and cities where lower ranking cops get paid very little already. I am not sure who will pay additional costs in places like that.

Best first step might be for DPS to try it out and work out how best to implement and maintain the system.

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Re: New bills about cops

#44

Post by mojo84 » Fri Apr 10, 2015 9:36 pm

MechAg94 wrote:
mojo84 wrote:A-R, I too have enjoyed and appreciate the debate. Please don't think I think the officers or departments want to buy "toys" vs body cams. I do believe some things are cooler than others and human nature leads us to the cool and exciting. I also think the budget argument and lack of data storage are just an excuses.

How do the departments handle dash cam videos now? I know of some that automatically upload when the car arrives at the station to the departments server or cloud. Once uploaded it is kept for a period of time. Then it is written over after thirty, sixty, ninety etc days ( not sure how long). If they need the video, they can go in and save the part of it they need and process it as evidence with their chain of custody procedures.

Complaining it isn't feasible due to budget constraints and data storage issues is just a red herring being thrown out there by cops that don't want the cameras on them as they don't want the videos used against them. I think the video will corroborate their story and vindicate them more often than hurt them. I believe cops do much more right than they do bad.

One final argument, they are already doing what they say they can't to do. They have dash cams. For example, Boerne PD has an MRAP. The money they spend on upkeep and maintenance of that piece of military equipment that I am not aware of them using once would fund the body cams for the entire department.

Again, I encourage you to contact your county auditor or city treasurer and request a copy of their budgets. You'll be surprised how you're money is being spent. I can share my FOIA request with you if you would like.

Here's another example of priorities that I've mentioned. Kendall County has spent several million dollars buying land for wilderness parks that get little use. That would find lots of body cameras, data storage and cool equipment.
I would bet it is not really the LEO's that will complain about budgets at least in major cities. I bet the City of Houston could afford them just fine, but the politicians might have to cut a pet project or two to pay for it. However, there are smaller and poorer counties and cities where lower ranking cops get paid very little already. I am not sure who will pay additional costs in places like that.

Best first step might be for DPS to try it out and work out how best to implement and maintain the system.

Earlier in the thread, I posted a link to where there are grants available. I think many cops, brass and politicians all have their own reasons for resisting.

I have enjoyed the debate. I think I've done all I can here so I'll leave it all to you guys and well see where all this goes in time.


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Re: New bills about cops

#45

Post by srothstein » Sun Apr 12, 2015 4:32 pm

Personally, I strongly support the use of body cameras by officers. I remember trying to rig my own dash camera when most police departments did not ahve them. I believe it will exonerate me much more often than incriminate me.

As a general rule, police officers are split on the use of body cameras. Some like them and some don't. Police unions are generally against them but that is more politics than anything else. Many of the cops who do not like body cameras are not against them because they think they will be used in a case of a shooting to charge the officer, but more because they think the administration will use them to look for complaints and suspend them over little violations of rules, such as spending more than 30 minutes at their dinner (GPS units on patrol cars have been used for this exact purpose). I believe it is much more of a reflection of the disconnect and politics between the officers and their administrations than the criminal acts of cops.

Along those lines, cops feel this way because they know very well what the odds of being in a shooting or a newsworthy situation are. They are few and far between. Consider the fact that there are about one million law enforcement officers on duty in the US. Divide by three to get the shifts covered, and then another time by half to get the days off, vacation, training etc. covered. That means there are about 166,666 officers ON DUTY at any given time. Even if we assume that only one-fourth of them are actually patrolmen, it means that there are 40,000 police officers out there interacting with the public at any given minute. Now look again at how often the abusive cases occur. It really is a very small minority of the officers. It makes the news because it is that rare (man bites dog or dog bites man type of thing).

And that is what leads to the budget problems and choices. The costs of body cameras are almost all in the storage and handling, not in the actual cameras. If you are the chief and have a set budget, or even if you are preparing your new budget, do you want to argue for something that pays so little return on investment? Compare that to how often the breaching tools are used (way too often IMO but that is a separate argument). Which one should the chief buy?

BTW, for any who are not aware, most of the body cameras are digital, as are most dash cameras now. They are constant loop type systems, with the video going to memory and being overwritten later as needed. When the camera is activated (manually or by the auto system) it goes back and captures some segment of the video, usually 30 seconds or one minute before activation. I don't know how they can set up an auto activate system for the body cams, but I have seen some advertised that are always on and the department can erase anything not necessary later. But storage of an 8 hour shift per officer eats up money fast, as does the review of what to save longer.
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