Preparing for a Body Camera and In-Car Camera Mandate

When it comes to law enforcement, technology can act as an added value to protect the officer and the community they serve. The demand for technology is seen in the state-issued mandates on body-worn and in-car video cameras across the country. The mandates vary from state to state, although there will be an increase in legislation requiring police departments to implement body camera programs in the next few years.


How can a Body Camera and In-Car Camera Mandate affect your agency?
The rise of police reform has prompted many states to create legislation that requires law enforcement officers to use body-worn cameras. Lack of research or selecting an inadequate vendor can lead to problems for your agency down the road. An example is failing to capture critical moments on camera that could be used in an investigation.

“Failure of an officer to activate their body camera during a high-risk encounter does not equate to nefarious intent, but unfortunately, that assumption has become the default. As every officer knows, body cameras can fall or be ripped off during an altercation with a suspect, or an officer can just simply be more occupied with saving a life (including their own) than with remembering to comply with every policy detail.

No police officer – and certainly no chief – ever wants to be in the position of admitting to public officials, the media or citizens’ groups that an officer failed to activate their bodycam during a high-profile encounter.” – Police1, source

How to select a body camera that follows your agency’s policy and mandated body camera legislation?
When selecting a body camera, many features are essential beyond collecting video footage. The key is to understand that a body camera can act as an added piece of technology that supports the officer when he or she is on the field. Therefore selecting a camera that can adapt, change and grow with your policy and your community. Technology, just like society, is evolving; therefore when choosing a body camera, it should adapt to the changing times and the needs of your agency.

Manuel Gonzales of Bernalillo County Sheriff Office, New Mexico, and Chief David Hayes of Louisville Police Department, Colorado share their experiences preparing for police camera mandates.

Sheriff Manuel Gonzales of Bernalillo County Sheriff Office, New Mexico, and Chief David Hayes of Louisville Police Department, Colorado share their experiences preparing for police camera mandates.

“Don’t compromise political pressure for the safety of your officers or the public. We are all rule followers and we’re going to comply with the law but don’t cave in politically to make a decision because it’s a cost issue. Make sure you get what you need and that it’s adequate. That it’s going to provide the needs of your department or your office and the public.” said Sheriff Manuel Gonzales, Bernalillo County Sheriff Office, New Mexico.

BodyWorn by Utility pushes the limits of what a standard body camera can do because the camera acts as a segment of a larger ecosystem. Everything from the camera’s design within the officer’s uniform to the automatic recording activations allows the officer to do their job without worrying that video footage isn’t recording. BodyWorn provides the platform for each agency to customize their body camera program based on their policy and state legislation.

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