POLICE Magazine

SEP 2018

Magazine for police and law enforcement

Issue link: https://policemag.epubxp.com/i/1022864

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Page 78 of 136

76 POLICE SEPTEMBER 2018 cies have faced a lot of concerns about drafting body camera policies accept- able to officers and the public. We asked a series of questions on this topic. Most respondents, 80%, say their agencies re- quire them to turn on their cameras dur- ing all calls and traffic stops. On another policy issue that is often controversial, 93% of respondents said their agencies allow them to review their body camera footage before writing their reports. Documenting police response with body cameras is not a perfect science. Many people do not consider the human factor of having to remember to turn on the camera often in situations of great stress. Human error happens and often at the worst times, which is why 86% of the respondents to our survey say they have forgotten to turn on their cameras when policy would require them to do so. And the reverse is true as well; 81% of respon- dents say they have forgotten to turn off their cameras after a call or contact. is can be a cause of great concern for body camera wearers because there is no way for the wearer to delete the file. So officers have accidentally recorded private con- versations, moments of personal exasper- ation they would never want the world to see, and even trips to the toilet. To eliminate human error when acti- vating body cameras under stress, some companies have developed products that automatically activate the system when the officer draws his or her duty weapon. In our survey, a slim majority of 37% of W W W . S U R E F I R E . C O M A M E R I C A N ' S B E A C O N O F F R E E D O M 1 0 0 0 L U M E N S 1 . 2 5 H O U R S UNLEASH THE LUMENS ULTRA-HIGH-OUTPUT LED HANDGUN LIGHT respondents thought this was a good idea and they would want to have it available. But an almost equal number of respon- dents, 36%, said they were not sure if they wanted a holster to activate their camera when they draw. Another technology that is starting to gain some traction in the world of eviden- tiary video is the gun camera. We asked our readers: "Would you want a camera on your duty weapon if it didn't interfere with EXCLUSIVE POLICE SURVEY: BODY CAMERAS What is your agency's policy on when to turn on your body camera? Does your agency's policy allow you to review body camera foot- age of an incident before writing your report? 93% Yes 80% All calls or traffic stops 8% At officer discretion 12% Other 7% No

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