Body Cams?

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jason812
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Body Cams?

#1

Post by jason812 » Wed May 13, 2020 4:26 pm

Monday I had to meet with a Brazos County deputy to pick up a GPS tracker that was taken out of a piece of stolen equipment which I found in a ditch. When he got out of his SUV, he said hang on, and proceeded to what look like turn on his body camera. I thought these things were on all the time. It wasn't a hit the button and ok we're good. It took him several seconds. I was thinking if he really needed the camera to be on, he was out of luck. Or could he have been turning it off? His partner didn't mess with his.

So are these things on all the time or not?

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KC5AV
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Re: Body Cams?

#2

Post by KC5AV » Thu May 14, 2020 11:31 am

They are not always recording. With all of the sources or audio and video (cars, body cams, etc. recording), there aren’t enough hours in the day to transfer all of the data that would be generated from recording nothing of value; not to mention local storage space for all of that data, and cloud storage, as well.
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seph
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Re: Body Cams?

#3

Post by seph » Thu May 14, 2020 11:45 am

They actually should always be recording. The officer should only be able to pause recording for a short period of time (personal breaks), then they should automatically start recording again. The video is just data, which is cheap to store. All recordings should be kept for 24 hours, then if any timeframe is needed, they can preserve it before 24 hours. ( IE all traffic stops or other officer interaction with the public.)

It should not be left up the officers to turn on the cams. They have too many others things to worry about, like staying safe and being able to return to their home at the end of their shift.


srothstein
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Re: Body Cams?

#4

Post by srothstein » Fri May 15, 2020 8:59 am

Most body cams are always in record mode but not saving the data. They record and save it in a loop of from 1 to 5 minutes. When the officer turns on the body cam it then saves all of the data it has plus the incoming data until it is turned off again. This allows for the memory inside the unit to be small enough to fit plus saves on tremendous amounts of storage for the agency. If you remember old VCR tapes, an average officer would fill four of them during a normal 8 hour shift if the cam recorded everything. With electronic storage, this gets converted to a smaller space but is that much data. Multiply times the number of officers in the agency, and the data storage needs become tremendous and very expensive. Luling PD, for example has 15 officers for a city of 5000 people. Or look at San Antonio with 2500 officers for a city of 1.5 million.

It is better to only record when needed. Car cameras work the same way and have a manual turn on button, but are usually wired into the lights and siren to turn on when they do also. Unfortunately, that doesn't work for the body camera.
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ELB
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Re: Body Cams?

#5

Post by ELB » Fri May 15, 2020 10:50 am

Some departments, especially smaller ones, are ditching body cameras because of the ongoing cost of storing and managing the data:

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threoh8
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Re: Body Cams?

#6

Post by threoh8 » Sat May 16, 2020 8:18 am

Unfortunately for officers, the ability to select what is recorded leaves open to speculation their criteria and motivation for deciding to record - or not record.
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