Police departments nationwide have been outfitting with an unblinking eye on crime.
While not yet a permanent addition to the lineup of uniform gadgets, the body-worn video camera is being rapidly adopted by agencies who feel that capturing video of police-citizen interactions often leads to more positive encounters. When coupled with services from Net Transcripts that quickly produce transcriptions of captured recordings, this technology also offers a significant increase in investigative efficiencies.
Current models of on-body video cameras are typically the size of a pack of cards, and clip to the chest. Certain types provide a thumb-sized lens clip that can be mounted on areas like shirt collars, sunglasses or helmets. Once activated by the officer, the device can capture high-resolution video and audio of anything from traffic stops to violent confrontations. Video files can be reviewed locally or uploaded to secure cloud-based storage, offered by body-worn camera manufacturers such as VIEVU and TASER International.
Agencies who have worked with on-body video herald its usefulness in aiding and even preventing investigations. When interactions with police offers become the subject of citizen complaints, law enforcement professionals can simply review video of the encounters to investigate claims. False accusations of officer misconduct are easily resolved with this technology, as Doug Willie notes in his case study of Arizona’s Lake Havasu Police Department. In several incidents, Lake Havasu officers were swiftly cleared from unfounded complaints by review of captured video, including cases where citizens chose not to file a complaint entirely after learning the interaction had been recorded.
Proponents of body-worn video also confirm improvements in police-citizen interactions when the camera is present. When faced with a video device, citizens are more aware of their behavior toward officers, who are kept accountable for their actions.
The popularity of body-worn video cameras have propelled the technology into the law enforcement spotlight and enticed departments countrywide to outfit officers. Agencies adopting the technology will be faced with new challenges, such as policing use and integrating a system for reviewing and managing an influx of digital files. However, body-worn cameras have proved their worth in facilitating positive interactions and eliminating investigations into complaints, and will continue to be developed as a viable and successful tool for law enforcement.
Leading body-worn video manufacturer VIEVU is the developer of the popular LE2 camera model and corresponding VERIPATROL file management software. VIEVU and Net Transcripts have partnered to offer the integrated ability for full transcription and translation of audio captured with VIEVU’s body-worn video cameras. For law enforcement agencies seeking to maximize department productivity, the ability to review and utilize verbatim audio-to-text transcriptions from body-worn video technology accelerates the investigation process. For more information on VIEVU’s partnership with Net Transcripts services, please view the press release here.