Friday, August 25, 2006

smile, you're on candid camera!

J tells me he had a meeting this morning for an internal investigation. Not about him of course. Involves lack of equipment at his post of the Sheriff's dept. Specifically video tapes for their dash-cams. So we start talking about the cameras, and someone I work with had asked me if all cops had cameras, and do they always record, blah blah. You know, again, it's one of those questions that spouses get asked all the time, but I love how people assume that every cop job is exactly the same, across the entire country. Anyway, I figured I'd get the straight answer from him so I can be prepared for it next time. He says the new systems they're supposed to be getting are 'recording' all the time, but they don't write to a DVD unless you flip the lights/sirens on, or hit 'record'. Or if the airbag goes off. The neat thing that I am in love with is that they go retroactive. If he hits 'record' or hits the lights, the DVD starts writing from a minute before he actually hit record. Kind of like the way your DVR/TIVO would work. And if the airbag is deployed, it starts recording from two minutes prior. Which is WAY cool. So now the lawyers can STICK IT when they say "oh well who knows what happened before they hit record." Because that crap has been pulled here in Cincinnati.

True story: Nathaniel Jones was high on PCP, was harassing people at White Castle 4:30 in the morning, less than a mile from my house. Cops are called, of course, and they show up to talk to him. He starts taking swings at the officers, left and right. This is actually CAUGHT ON TAPE. Four guys have to wrestle him down to the ground to handcuff him. Because of the strain and activity on his heart, which was enlarged (and, gosh, I don't know, the huge amounts of illegal drugs in his system), he died in custody. It nearly started another wave of riots here in Cincy. And one of the claims was that it wasn't known what happened before the camera started recording, because he was already swinging when the tape started. Someone had the forethought to run back and hit record when it started. And you'd think it protected the cops? Of course not. Asshole lawyers like Ken Lawson can pull the greatest bullshit out of their behinds and try to make the cops look bad.

Anyway my point is that the new dash-cam system really should help eliminate some of those questions. Hopefully more departments will be able to budget them in.


cathy said...

Oh that is good news. When my husband was still working they had no recorders at all in the cruisers. It always came down to their word against some criminals word. But, luckily the Judges here always seemed pretty fair. I think it is much worse in the big cities like cincy.

BTW, I'm happy you are also doing the 9/11 tribute. I'll be here to read it. I think I will be reading alot of them that day.

I had left you a long comment on the post about your grandpa calling and somehow blogger must have eaten it because it didn't post. I was very happy you heard from him. I hope all of that works out for you...:)

Mike @ CopTheTruth said...

I was against these things at first because they can be a major pain in the ass (being "miked up" all the time, for example) but I've come around. The A/V has saved me a few times and we've had shootings and pursuits on tape. Gotta be VERY careful what you say, however!

FroneAmy said...


I will definitely be reading a lot of the tributes that day. Whether I can get through all of them remains to be seen. I am going to have to take it slow, though. Researching Clive made me cry. I don't know how I am going to read 2996 tributes.

I can't tell you how many times I've stopped to see Jim and he's warned me that he's miked, so watch what I say. I've a tendency to say slightly embarassing (to myself) things when I don't know I'm being watched/heard. But I think the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. It makes me sick to my stomach when lawyers pull that crap. It makes me sick period when people don't trust cops.