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If you join a police department that
doesn't have an in-car video system,
don't install one yourself.  The pioneering
of this system is past, and any type of
surveillance system utilized by you, on
your own initiative, could be in violation
of state laws as well as your
department's administrative procedures.

If you join a police department where an
in-car video system has been adopted
and installed by your department, your
responsibilities regarding its maintenance
and usage will be spelled out in a written
procedure.  Make certain you're throughly
familiar with your department's
procedure, and never deviate from the
procedure.

Your video system could be activated in a
number of ways.  Your overhead lights,
siren, or a portable microphone you wear
could activate the system, or you could
activate the system manually.  Let's say
your department requires you to activate
the system every time you make a vehicle
stop.  If that's what the procedure
requires, then that's exactly what you
must do.  On the other hand, you could
have a system that is active during your
entire shift --digital technology has made
just about anything possible.

During the development of these
systems, it was soon realized how rough
the police car environment could be for
sensitive electronic equipment.   
However, it's been around long enough
now for most of these systems to be
hardened for the task.  The biggest
continuing drawback remains to be most
police departments' understanding of
continuously emerging new technology.

While police leadership understands that
even a brand new police car requires
maintenance, that same understanding
seems to drift over their heads when it
comes to technology.  Many hi-tech
systems, like in-car video, are purchased
with federal grant money.  While it's clear
that future maintenance and upgrades
become a department's responsibility, few
departments think that far ahead.  
Hopefully, you'll join a police department
that has its in-car video system well
integrated into the department's budget
to ensure the system's future technical
support needs.

While the positive aspects of in-car video
are obvious, some police officers will
continue to display their poor judgement
for the whole world to see...just don't be
one of them.
Back in the 1980's, someone got the idea
of putting a video camera inside a police
car to record -- primarily -- vehicle
stops.  The advantage of such recording
was immediately recognized when it came
to the arrests of drunk drivers.  Another
advantage was being able to disprove
allegations of misconduct made against
police officers.
"Hopefully, you'll join a police
department that has its in-car video
system well integrated into the
department's budget to ensure the
system's future technical support
needs." ~ Barry M. Baker
In-Car
Video
Copyright © 2017  Barry M. Baker  
CareerPoliceOfficer.com
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