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.