Why Automatic Recording Triggering On Dash And Body Cams Could Be Vital For Police Agencies

According to a recent study, body cameras worn by police officers are associated with an increase in arrests, prosecutions, and guilty pleas. These, alongside police dash cameras, can help with increasing accountability, building a clear picture of incidents officers are involved in, and may ultimately result in crimes being resolved faster.

The simultaneous use of both of these technologies can help paint a detailed picture of any serious incidents or altercations that arise. However, in situations that require immediate and swift action, officers may not always have the time to activate their cameras. In these instances, automatic recording triggering can be a vital asset to all parties involved.

How Do They Work?

When automatic recording triggering is used, the body camera or in-car camera will begin recording with no interaction needed from an officer. The specific trigger that activates the camera to start recording its footage can be selected by the officer according to their particular needs.

Kustom Signals’ Eyewitness HD police in-car video uses three cameras that can each be configured to be triggered by specific stimuli. One of the most commonly selected triggers is the activation of the light bar. The Eyewitness HD also offers bi-directional automatic recording in conjunction with the Eyewitness Vantage Body Camera. This means that if the Eyewitness HD in-car system is triggered, it can also trigger the Vantage body cam, or vice-versa.

Agencies can configure this system to suit their requirements, and it removes the need for officers to actively turn on their cameras during fast-moving situations.

A Clearer Picture

Police siren Lights

The use of automatic recording triggering drastically reduces the risk of losing footage, as it guarantees that the important moments will be documented. When used with a light-bar activation, the moment officers turn on their siren, they will know that any ensuing incidents will be fully captured.

Having two simultaneous devices with automatic recording triggering offers some added advantages. In situations where body cams become obscured, for instance during a close-proximity altercation, the in-car police cams will be filming the incident from a distance. Watching both pieces of footage allows for a clearer retrospective understanding of the events.

Officers Can Stay Focused

In high-pressure situations, officers need to stay focused on what’s happening in front of them. Although documenting incidents is extremely important, pressing buttons on a body cam can be an added distraction for the officer who needs to stay alert to the situation at hand. Automatic recording removes this added stressor and allows them to act quickly if required.

When it comes to criminal prosecution, or if the actions of the police officer are in any way called into question, clear and reliable footage is an invaluable resource for evidence as well as protection of all parties.

For situations where an officer needs to draw his firearm, the Yardarm Holster Aware can be fitted to the holster and will activate the camera the moment the firearm is removed. This allows the officer to keep his eyes on the incident while remaining secure in the knowledge that the events will be fully documented if they need to be examined later.

Close up pistol

When Things Happen Quickly

If an officer’s car is involved in a crash, they may not have any time to turn their camera on, and the incident is likely to occur so suddenly that the parties involved will not have an accurate recollection of events.

Understanding what happened during a crash is vital for establishing who was at fault. Our Eyewitness HD in-car video can be configured with crash activation, which automatically turns on all three cameras in the event of an accident. More importantly, the system has a  pre-event recording feature, whereby the 30 seconds preceding the crash-activation trigger will also be recorded and saved.

The automatic recording triggered by a crash could be an essential piece of evidence in a court of law.

Instead of departments asking their officers to have their in-car video cameras recording continuously, resulting in hours of unneeded footage, automatic recordings offer a simpler and smarter solution that clearly captures key incidents while saving important memory storage space.

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