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Thread: Opinions on the police having body-worn cameras?

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    Opinions on the police having body-worn cameras?

    Hi all,


    With calls from as high up as President Obama pushing for body worn video to strengthen community policing - setting aside $75 million to help purchase 50,000 body cameras for police officers around the USA - and incidents such as those currently happening in Ferguson, I was wondering about the community's thoughts on the police having body-worn cameras as standard?


    Recently in the UK, body worn cameras were instrumental in prosecuting an attack on a female police officer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisReveal View Post
    Hi all,


    With calls from as high up as President Obama pushing for body worn video to strengthen community policing - setting aside $75 million to help purchase 50,000 body cameras for police officers around the USA - and incidents such as those currently happening in Ferguson, I was wondering about the community's thoughts on the police having body-worn cameras as standard?


    Recently in the UK, body worn cameras were instrumental in prosecuting an attack on a female police officer.
    While it is acceptable to have an anonymous location, being deliberately deceptive is not.

    Please correct/change your location.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisReveal View Post
    With calls from as high up as President Obama pushing for body worn video to strengthen community policing - setting aside $75 million to help purchase 50,000 body cameras for police officers around the USA - and incidents such as those currently happening in Ferguson, I was wondering about the community's thoughts on the police having body-worn cameras as standard?
    This has been discussed quite a bit recently on several threads. Here are my thoughts:

    1-Body cameras are very likely to dramatically reduce excessive force complaints against police. One might debate the extent to which this is due to changes in police behavior vs the extent to which the cameras reduce false complaints.

    2-Body cameras will do little to reduce public resentment of police in communities where the laws being enforced are seen as oppressive by the people. No matter how polite the cops are, if residents think the laws are oppressive, they will resent the police.

    3-I'm with the ACLU in terms of protecting the privacy of citizens while holding police to account. All of an officer's work day should be recorded with audio/video on a body camera. That footage should be downloaded and stored in a secure manner. The vast majority of it should never again see the light of day UNLESS there are allegations of police wrong doing or footage germane to a trial or investigation.

    4-Initial costs to purchase cameras and set up storage and retrieval are likely to be more than made up in reduced costs defending against and paying settlements on police brutality claims. But as you noted, there are some initial costs to get set up. These should be viewed as an investment.

    Charles
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    Quote Originally Posted by utbagpiper View Post
    This has been discussed quite a bit recently on several threads. Here are my thoughts:

    Charles
    It would be good if someone who really cared (and no, I don't) would collate all the threads and offer them to a moderator for possible merging. That way someone who just shows up out of the blue with no introduction or statement of why they are seeking the collective wisdom of OCDO* could do some research on their own before draging a subject through the wringer once again.

    There are probably only three or four posters here who index and cross-reference their posts. (Wonder how much they would charge to teach that skillset to some senior politicians/bureaucrats?)

    stay safe.

    * - but looks suspiciously like they are trying to spam us with their brand of product.
    Last edited by skidmark; 03-16-2015 at 06:42 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisReveal View Post
    SNIP I was wondering about the community's thoughts on the police having body-worn cameras as standard?
    My thoughts:

    How did police arrive at the situation where the public are calling for body-cams? Its not like police are widely held as paragons of virtue and restraint.

    Also, I am sure there was lots of optimism about dash-cams when they first came out. But, of couse, somehow those dang unreliable recording systems too often seem to suffer "technical problems" just at the moment something happens to trigger a later complaint of excessive force. "Oh, Citizen, you're just a gloomy gus." Not exactly, it was reported this morning through FourthAmendment.com that a journalist discovered that something like three out of four Denver police incidents involving force had the body-cams turned off.

    I love the comment about strengthening community policing. Why is it weak? Why does it need strengthening? Who caused the weakening, the public unconfidence? This is right up the same alley as the occasional cop who showed up around this forum claiming he was here to "build bridges". Hello. We're not stupid. If the law-enforcement industry had been high supporters of the Bill of Rights, scrupulously observing rights in the first place...its not the community that is burning the bridges; its not the community that weakened community policing.

    The whole name "community policing" reeks of Orwell. Where else are cops going to police? The next state over? Its too obvious the term community policing was designed to make people think more cops were on the side of the community. If they had been, why did somebody need to invert the term community policing?
    Last edited by Citizen; 03-16-2015 at 10:14 PM.
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    I think body cameras are a great idea, but storage will be a serious implementation issue for many departments. Suppose you were to use H.264 compression. That could run anywhere between 480p to 1080p or 1200 to 5000 kilobits per second. Suppose the camera is on for 7.5 hours per day when you take away the two fifteen minute paid breaks. At 1080p you're looking at 35 megabytes per minute for a 450 minute work day with a total of 15.75 gigabytes. At 480p you're looking at 6 megabytes per minute at a total of 2.7 gigs per officer per day. Suppose you go for the smaller amount. Suppose you're my old Sheriff's office with 420 full time deputies. In order to store a week's worth of video, you'd need 33 Terabytes for 1080p, or 5.67 terabytes for 480p. While the latter may not seem like much, you'd need to factor in IT costs such as RAID redundant drives and an system for managing the video in a manner that isn't just drag and drop since it will never get deleted by all the deputies that simply "aren't good at computers."

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    Quote Originally Posted by rickyray9 View Post
    I think body cameras are a great idea, but storage will be a serious implementation issue for many departments. Suppose you were to use H.264 compression. That could run anywhere between 480p to 1080p or 1200 to 5000 kilobits per second. Suppose the camera is on for 7.5 hours per day when you take away the two fifteen minute paid breaks. At 1080p you're looking at 35 megabytes per minute for a 450 minute work day with a total of 15.75 gigabytes. At 480p you're looking at 6 megabytes per minute at a total of 2.7 gigs per officer per day. Suppose you go for the smaller amount. Suppose you're my old Sheriff's office with 420 full time deputies. In order to store a week's worth of video, you'd need 33 Terabytes for 1080p, or 5.67 terabytes for 480p. While the latter may not seem like much, you'd need to factor in IT costs such as RAID redundant drives and an system for managing the video in a manner that isn't just drag and drop since it will never get deleted by all the deputies that simply "aren't good at computers."
    This is an enlightening post. Thank you.

    What does all this mean? Hmmmm. Lemme think.

    Since you can't possibly be the only tech-savvy fella with math skills, it means pretty much every police department who has started using these things would have encountered the same issues during the initial planning stages. And, the mayor's office would have heard about the demands that video storage would place on budgets.

    Now, I can't help but wonder if these body-camera pilot programs cropping up around the country are not really just more of a PR stunt than anything else. As I mentioned above, a journalist in Denver has discovered that in something like 75% of use-of-force incidents that occurred during the pilot program, the body-camera was turned off/not turned on. Oh, my, the coincidence is just amazing. But, no more so than all the missing dash-cam recordings or times the equipment just didn't seem to be working that particular shift.

    Yeah, body-cams sound like a nice idea. Now I wonder if that sound is being used to pander or mollify.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    My thoughts:

    How did police arrive at the situation where the public are calling for body-cams? Its not like police are widely held as paragons of virtue and restraint.

    Also, I am sure there was lots of optimism about dash-cams when they first came out. But, of couse, somehow those dang unreliable recording systems too often seem to suffer "technical problems" just at the moment something happens to trigger a later complaint of excessive force. "Oh, Citizen, you're just a gloomy gus." Not exactly, it was reported this morning through FourthAmendment.com that a journalist discovered that something like three out of four Denver police incidents involving force had the body-cams turned off.

    I love the comment about strengthening community policing. Why is it weak? Why does it need strengthening? Who caused the weakening, the public unconfidence? This is right up the same alley as the occasional cop who showed up around this forum claiming he was here to "build bridges". Hello. We're not stupid. If the law-enforcement industry had been high supporters of the Bill of Rights, scrupulously observing rights in the first place...its not the community that is burning the bridges; its not the community that weakened community policing.

    The whole name "community policing" reeks of Orwell. Where else are cops going to police? The next state over? Its too obvious the term community policing was designed to make people think more cops were on the side of the community. If they had been, why did somebody need to invert the term community policing?
    A lot of innuendo and misdirection there.

    Community policing began back in the '60s and has progressively proven to work, especially when partnered with the more traditional method of good ol' fashioned hard work. It’s not one or the other, it’s one and the other.

    noun: community policing

    Last edited by Grapeshot; 03-17-2015 at 07:18 AM. Reason: Speelink
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    Thanks for your responses everyone!

    Quote Originally Posted by utbagpiper View Post
    3-I'm with the ACLU in terms of protecting the privacy of citizens while holding police to account. All of an officer's work day should be recorded with audio/video on a body camera. That footage should be downloaded and stored in a secure manner. The vast majority of it should never again see the light of day UNLESS there are allegations of police wrong doing or footage germane to a trial or investigation.
    Charles
    Interesting thoughts Charles - with regards to point 3, what do you think about Seattle police posting blurred body-camera footage on to Youtube? Do you think this is in the public interest?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisReveal View Post
    Thanks for your responses everyone!

    Interesting thoughts Charles - with regards to point 3, what do you think about Seattle police posting blurred body-camera footage on to Youtube? Do you think this is in the public interest?
    They could have released the video with her face blurred, not blurring the entire video. With the audio deleted and the total blurring of relevant images, they can hardly be considered as posting honestly - distortion = distortion.

    Posting on Youtube? Really? For what purpose, rather than through official channel(s)?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    A lot of innuendo and misdirection there.

    Community policing began back in the '60s and has progressively proven to work, especially when partnered with the more traditional method of good ol' fashioned hard work. It’s not one or the other, it’s one and the other.

    noun: community policing

    Oh, you mean like foot-beat cops were already doing all those years from 1830 forward?

    That gobbledygook about a philosophy that promotes...sure seems pretty cold regarding the decent human beings in the community it purports to protect. Compare it to the mission statement of Sir Peel, founder of police in London, who said [paraphrase] police are community members themselves. The gooblledygook quoted above sounds more like a dispassionate and uncaring bureaucrat making up something formal-sounding, knowing the gullible will get sucked in, and those in the know will be able to read between the lines.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    They could have released the video with her face blurred, not blurring the entire video. With the audio deleted and the total blurring of relevant images, they can hardly be considered as posting honestly - distortion = distortion.

    Posting on Youtube? Really? For what purpose, rather than through official channel(s)?
    That video was worthless as far as transparency, and I have no doubt they know that. IMO it is thumbing their nose at the people they serve. Yes they could have easily blurred faces.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisReveal View Post
    Interesting thoughts Charles - with regards to point 3, what do you think about Seattle police posting blurred body-camera footage on to Youtube? Do you think this is in the public interest?

    I'm not familiar with the particular incident you reference and so have no thoughts about it.

    I will offer my general view that if footage needs to be released because of allegations of police wrongdoing (including police shooting of private citizens), it should be released un-edited and in full.

    If footage doesn't need to be released, it shouldn't be released at all. So no need to be blurring except in some rare case where footage needs to be released but contains something of a private citizen that needs to be kept private. Kind of like what the media does when they show a group photo of someone, but blur out everyone but the subject of the story.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    --snipped-- The gooblledygook quoted above sounds more like a dispassionate and uncaring bureaucrat making up something formal-sounding, knowing the gullible will get sucked in, and those in the know will be able to read between the lines.
    You are too dismissive and seemingly closed minded to sincerity from others.
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    It is without question that cameras, worn by cops (in cars too), have a impact on cops doing their job. Yet, we continue to witness cops behaving badly while knowing that they are filming and being filmed. Cops will continue to behave badly and cops will continue to espouse that cameras do not tell the whole story. Yet, what we see before our very eyes typically contradicts their claim. In other words, what we see is what we get.
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    It is without question that cameras, worn by cops (in cars too), have a impact on cops doing their job. Yet, we continue to witness cops behaving badly while knowing that they are filming and being filmed. Cops will continue to behave badly and cops will continue to espouse that cameras do not tell the whole story. Yet, what we see before our very eyes typically contradicts their claim. In other words, what we see is what we get.
    A moving picture is worth a thousand words...
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    They don't have a problem obfuscating the footage of dash cams that have been in use for decades, and body cameras will be no different.
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    Storage isn't an issue if we get rid of the overwhelming majority of these rights infringing street warriors of the political class.
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    You are too dismissive and seemingly closed minded to sincerity from others.
    Sincerity can never be the basis for legitimacy. The insane are sincere. Every cop-basher in our early days was sincere. Doug was sincere. Many of the grass-roots anti-gunners are sincere.

    I am not wrong for drawing the line at arbitrariness, capriciousness, ad hominem, strawman, non-sequitur, and the remaining list of underhanded debate tactics.
    Last edited by Citizen; 03-22-2015 at 06:59 PM.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    Sincerity can never be the basis for legitimacy.
    Agreed, and I'll raise your sincerity with three orders of politeness. Politely denying the rights of others remains an evil, heinous thing, even when those doing it sincerely believe they're right.
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    Quote Originally Posted by since9 View Post
    Agreed, and I'll raise your sincerity with three orders of politeness. Politely denying the rights of others remains an evil, heinous thing, even when those doing it sincerely believe they're right.
    Very nice! Very true!
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
    "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because
    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

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    Quote Originally Posted by sudden valley gunner View Post
    Very nice! Very true!
    I wish the forum mods switched on the likes function...
    The First protects the Second, and the Second protects the First. Together, they protect the rest of our Bill of Rights and our United States Constitution, and help We the People protect ourselves in the spirit of our Declaration of Independence.

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    Quote Originally Posted by since9 View Post
    I wish the forum mods switched on the likes function...
    We haz

    And
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    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    We haz

    And
    I'm curious as to the problem, as it works great on countless other vBulletin message forums (2.x, 3.x, 4.x, 5.x). I run 4.2.2, same as OCDO, on two other forums and the members like it!

    One of those forums has more than 35,000 members, several hundred active at any given time, so the idea of there being "performance issues" with enabling the feature (as I've heard from other forum admins) would tell me the real issue is one of "configuration errors."
    The First protects the Second, and the Second protects the First. Together, they protect the rest of our Bill of Rights and our United States Constitution, and help We the People protect ourselves in the spirit of our Declaration of Independence.

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