I agree with the old man from L.A. dash cams do have value as far as training goes.
My department used to have them in the sector cars. I used to review the tape at the end of watch. Its quite a reality check when you see how many times the bad guy could have had you. It keeps you on your toes.
The actions on some of the tapes did come back to bite some officers in the ass though. but whos fault is that?
Love it. And I hope I get to keep it when I am issued a another car in 4 or 5 years. As far as ruining careers, well, if the incident was not caught on camera was it still the right thing to do. I find myself aware of the camera since I have had it, but I do not let it dictate the manner in which I conduct myself. I actually think it helps me from getting complacent, because I sometimes go back through them and critique myself. Is that weird??
we had them for a while but they kept breaking. Imagine that. Managment loved them because it dramatically cut down on OT for OUI trials.THey can really kill you court time. Ultimately my dept opted not to keep them. 1 camera per car, 10 marked units, and every week one or two would break. It ended up costing them more to keep the cameras working then it was worth. Guys would loose the remote mikes etc etc.
Same thing happened here that happened with Pablo's Dept. We got them about a year ago in some of our cars. Found they were always breaking...Rear trunk mounts for the tapes were coming loose from the brackets. Couple of times that I've been in a car where they do work a few downsides. 1) Obviously you gotta be more careful in what you say...2) Some senior officers aren't used to their presence so you have to come up with some secret code word for them when they come and back you up to say "Yo I'm mic'd up so watch what you say." Good things are definitley helpful for FTO's if your dept. will let you pull the tapes. Ours have to be pulled by a supervisor and can only be pulled at the end of a tape or when a significant incident (pursuits etc.) happens.
Overall I didnt mind it but didn't love the idea of having them
We've had one for five years and it has squashed SEVERAL false accusations against our officers. NEVER been used the other way.
occasionally useful for training also.
It does have the provison to be turned off, but can't think why you would want to. (except when pulling over neighboring towns chief who's drunk/naked)