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Use police body cams as "time cards" - paid for time recorded & unreviewable except supervisors

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posted on Feb, 16 2018 @ 12:25 AM
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Was listening to some Portland decision about being able to review body cam footage before filing an incident report and it made me think that there could/should be more controls and safeguards on the body cams such as having them only upload/transfer data to an authenticated source such as an administrator control system. It could be used as the officers time card, where they turn it on when working, and it creates a time stamp. If they turn it off, they are off the clock. This could then be reviewed and see when an officer turned the device off and whether they are "allowed" to or not. Also not allowing them to review the footage so as to alter a report or story would be helpful in many instances where there is dispute as to what has happened. There could also be a built in alert of disabling or turning off the cam to HQ, which would allow them to know when someone was taking their break, lunch, etc as well as if there is something that needs attention.

It seems that there are a lot of options which could easily be taken advantage of with this technology but for "some reason" these measures have not even been brought up or discussed let alone have been implemented.

The footage could also be marked with security stamps to ensure that it is unaltered and totally original as well as if there is any footage that has been removed/deleted. The files could be only accessible by an administrator or superior until the proper reports have been made and whether there is a contradictory account of the incident at which case the video can be reviewed and proper determinations made as to the truth of the matter. In incidents where there are conflicting stories between officer and "criminal" then the video is sent to the appropriate department/person (who should not be direct supervisor of officer) such as an internal affairs department, or community compliance officer (IDK if that is even a position, but it sounds like it could be..) so as to give an unbiased handling of the incident - hopefully.

I'm trying to think of what other features could be added to these camera setups and would to hear what you all have to say as well as your general thoughts on this idea. As far as people wondering if the devices have the capacity to do these things, I can assure you that it is more than possible to do this on something much smaller than a cell phone (probably a 1/4 size of an iphone).

While I'm sure this would be unpopular with many of the officers but as they always tell the public, if you aren't doing anything wrong, and you have nothing to hide, then you have nothing to fear. Isn't that how the saying has been going - or there abouts? Shouldn't the shoes be on both feet?




posted on Feb, 16 2018 @ 12:31 AM
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a reply to: DigginFoTroof

I dig it..

To protect police privacy and allow them to turn blind eye when the situation earns it. Seal the recordings unless there is a complaint or other situation that would require a closer look..



posted on Feb, 16 2018 @ 12:33 AM
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The batteries won't record for the entire 8 hour minimum shift, much less a longer one. Data storage quickly becomes an issue, especially if you're recording an entire shift. Not only does the bodycam need onboard storage, but you need bulk storage for the downloaded data. It quickly runs into the Terabyte range.

The cameras are frequently cheap crap that breaks constantly as they're turned out quickly to meet demand.

The data typically is safeguarded in such a way that only an administrator can delete, transfer, or alter files. The individual officer can view the video, but not alter it.



posted on Feb, 16 2018 @ 12:34 AM
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a reply to: DigginFoTroof

I think it cannot be over stated the benefit in allowing cops to “give warnings” instead or arrests or tickets..

My one fear about this is that it could cause officers to be afraid to let something slide when they know they could ruin a kids life by reporting it..



posted on Feb, 16 2018 @ 12:37 AM
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Also, most agencies in my area have policies on the books that an officer must have any and all recording devices on when making contact with the public. Violation of those policies is grounds for suspension or termination.

Your idea, while noble, isn't feasible or necessary.



posted on Feb, 16 2018 @ 12:51 AM
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originally posted by: cynicalheathen
The batteries won't record for the entire 8 hour minimum shift, much less a longer one. Data storage quickly becomes an issue, especially if you're recording an entire shift. Not only does the bodycam need onboard storage, but you need bulk storage for the downloaded data. It quickly runs into the Terabyte range.

The cameras are frequently cheap crap that breaks constantly as they're turned out quickly to meet demand.

The data typically is safeguarded in such a way that only an administrator can delete, transfer, or alter files. The individual officer can view the video, but not alter it.


What are you on about, terabyte, and not enough battery.

A phone can record at the resolution these body cams do, and if that is the only reason there is for the battery, it can last easily enough.

What you think they're using full HD as it is? look at the body cam footage of any released data. it's miserable at best. And my spy glasses can run for 4 hours, being easily 9 or 10 years old. with a 3500ma battery.

if todays tech cant stand up for scrutiny, and the 1999 way of things is the yard stick, I call BS.



posted on Feb, 16 2018 @ 01:30 AM
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a reply to: badw0lf
My husband records vids for the local hockey team during games and he has to take multiple batteries because the ones in the cameras won't last the entire 3 hours of filming. A video camera and 2 go-pros. Constant filming uses up battery power like nobodies business. And those files are large. Very large. We've got so many harddrives with terabytes of film footage around that it's ridiculous.



posted on Feb, 16 2018 @ 01:57 AM
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a reply to: badw0lf

Constant recording burns battery like nobody's business. Go put your phone on record at 720p for 8 hours and get back with us on battery life.

These cameras record at roughly a GB per hour, so 8GB per 8 hour shift, 40 GB per week. Multiply that times the number of officers you have working there and you can see how storage becomes a problem.

A month's data storage for a small 10 man rural department would be 1.6TB per month.

For a PD close to me that says they have 500 officers, that's 80TB per month. That doesn't include any overtime or off duty details.

So you can see how this quickly becomes a problem. I am all for police accountability and body cams, but who pays for the data storage and administration of the data? The police? And where does that money come from?

So you see, the idea of making police have their cameras on 40 hours a week is not feasible.



posted on Feb, 16 2018 @ 02:17 AM
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a reply to: Subrosabelow

Does he record them in very low resolution? Kinda pointless for the game.

Imagine using a cops body cam to record the game.. terrible quality.

multiple batteries? well, high end equipment must require it. I can use my samsung to record easily 4 hours, if everything else is turned off. I have done.

So, once again, the quality of the recording, and the amount needed to store it, is easily doable.

Unless they record in 1920x1080p for 8 hours... then we talk batteries and storage.



posted on Feb, 16 2018 @ 02:27 AM
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originally posted by: cynicalheathen
a reply to: badw0lf

Constant recording burns battery like nobody's business. Go put your phone on record at 720p for 8 hours and get back with us on battery life.

These cameras record at roughly a GB per hour, so 8GB per 8 hour shift, 40 GB per week. Multiply that times the number of officers you have working there and you can see how storage becomes a problem.


So all the police cam footage I've seen has been downgraded for a reason I guess. that we see. Certainly not recording 8GB per hour. as for per week, that is moot.

And storage is no problem. Just seems people are making excuses for the police to not have their cams on.



A month's data storage for a small 10 man rural department would be 1.6TB per month.

For a PD close to me that says they have 500 officers, that's 80TB per month. That doesn't include any overtime or off duty details.

So you can see how this quickly becomes a problem.


If you're storing footage, without incident, without any reasonable expectation of it being needed, then yes. Just like recording everything on voice would be a futile endeavour.

But we're not talking about that, are we. We're talking about having an office come off duty, hand in his device, just like his weapon, and if there are no reasons to store said footage, then it can be kept for a minimum. Not this "There is no space, my battery died" excuse where it could be vital evidence, and yet ... just wasn't turned on.

If however, there was an incident, then it can and should be stored safely for future review. And that takes away all of your bolded numbers.



I am all for police accountability and body cams, but who pays for the data storage and administration of the data? The police? And where does that money come from?

So you see, the idea of making police have their cameras on 40 hours a week is not feasible.


I still see it as a reasonable expectation, and a lot of unreasonable reasoning as to why it's ok to just let them wear body cams, with them not turned on.



posted on Feb, 16 2018 @ 02:57 AM
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i could build that easy put a main station in the car with a data relay to a storage center as for power ur cellphone is about 2200 mah or about 1 18650 bet 2 of them will do 8 maby 3 depends and u can charge them right off the cars 12v system

storing the data long tearm tho is a waste id say keep it for a week or 2 long enough for a judge to decide he wants to see it



posted on Feb, 16 2018 @ 03:51 AM
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Well there are many ways to handle onsite storage issues and battery issue,I can assure, is not an issue. There can be retention rules made where files are deleted once the case is closed. It would also be a good thing to have a digital marker when encountering a new situation or suspect, thus resulting in a new file or at least time stamp.

As far as battery, that is the least of the issues, especially with some new ones in the works. They can easily run on 5v and if we used LiFePO4 batteries, a pack that would last 12 hours would be smaller than a pack of cigarettes probably including the hardware for recording. There would be no moving parts so power is really reduced a great amount.

If an officer works an 8 hr shift and has 8gb of data, then that is just over 2TB per year, IF all data is stored. Then there is also post recording compression once it goes into "long term storage" and depending upon how much you want to compress, you could reduce the size by 15-25% with fairly little CPU utilization and even 50% or more with about 2-3x the CPU utilization of the 15-25%. With the exponential growth in storage rate, the price reduces by about 30-50% every 16-20 months with the storage requirements remaining the same. In 2 years (which may take that long to start the process), then storage isn't really going to be an issue, especially if some of the new storage tech comes through to the market which will either drop the price of current or "standard" storage or provide much larger capacities at a very reasonable price, yet more expensive than current storage.

With the amount of money police and fire departments spend on equipment, talking about adding 2TB of storage per officer per year is a drop in the bucket in comparison to the prices for equipment. I have the price lists for outfitting full squad cars, EMS vehicles, fire vehicles (not all the fire truck hardware, but the equipment that goes in standard vehicles like trucks/suv's/sedans), gov vehicles used by (Customs, FBI, ATF, IRS, Treasury, etc) & state vehicles. When I saw what they charge for the equipment I almost choked on my own tongue. They tend to use hardware that is sometimes unique to gov contracts but the company makes basically a clone of it and markets it either under a different model number or under a different brand. The prices are marked up just a bit.

Really any excuse about the technology not being there is either by someone ignorant of the current possiblities (in the consumer market let alone gov/mil supplies) or they are trying to avoid admitting that this is very feasible.



posted on Feb, 16 2018 @ 04:00 AM
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a reply to: badw0lf

I don't see why the recording couldn't be in 1920x1080. I'm not sure that 30fps is necessary. If the frame rate was dropped to 15 or even 10 or 8 frames per second, that is still about 40x the quality we have from the 500+ camera's outside the pentagon on "the big day" which looks like it was recorded (on the sole camera) through a dirty, holey sock. But even 8 frames per second is higher than many security cameras and is more than adequate for 95% of the recording that could be done. There could be an activation button that starts/stops higher quality recording (higher resolution & higher frame rate) when the situation is called for.



posted on Feb, 16 2018 @ 04:07 AM
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originally posted by: markovian
i could build that easy put a main station in the car with a data relay to a storage center as for power ur cellphone is about 2200 mah or about 1 18650 bet 2 of them will do 8 maby 3 depends and u can charge them right off the cars 12v system

storing the data long term tho is a waste id say keep it for a week or 2 long enough for a judge to decide he wants to see it


I agree and think that the battery issue is a non-issue. As for data, I only pointed out the 2TB of storage IF all the data for a 40 hr work week, 52 weeks / year were stored.

All incidents are kept track of by times and we all know about their paperwork (now done on computers) and how things are logged. There is no reason that time stamps can't be incorporated with each incident report and the data from that time period be extracted and stored with the incident until the case clears (or ticket paid, or whatever). This may even be a little over board but I'm just explaining what is possible as many don't seem to think beyond what they are given or fed.



posted on Feb, 16 2018 @ 04:22 AM
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a reply to: badw0lf

All you will hear is excuses, tell me when recording with your phone you may like the police need to record for an hour or so, after recording you get back in your vehicle and plug it in to the convenient little USB charger connected to the car battery.

No job a cop has to do involved recording all day long, the excuses are a cop out.... (pun intended
)

ETA... I forgot also these convenient little portable battery backups that are all the rage these days.
edit on 16-2-2018 by hopenotfeariswhatweneed because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 16 2018 @ 05:35 AM
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a reply to: DigginFoTroof

You'd need 21 giggawatts of electricity and a time machine to store it all, apparently.

Who can afford that!



posted on Feb, 16 2018 @ 06:25 AM
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a reply to: DigginFoTroof

While it may seem a good idea the root problem is that you are adding tons of complexity to something to deal with the symptoms and not the cause.

Change the law, recruit and train differently, hold accountable.

Body cams can help this of course but on its own it's just a sticking plaster on an axe wound.



posted on Feb, 19 2018 @ 01:03 AM
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If any of you who are saying "this is so simple" can build a better mousetrap than what's currently available, I assure you that the cash-strapped and liability-minded adminstrations of LE Agencies will beat your door down.

Until then, they'll get what they can work into their budgets with federal grants.
edit on 2-19-2018 by cynicalheathen because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 19 2018 @ 01:12 AM
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originally posted by: cynicalheathen
The batteries won't record for the entire 8 hour minimum shift, much less a longer one. Data storage quickly becomes an issue, especially if you're recording an entire shift. Not only does the bodycam need onboard storage, but you need bulk storage for the downloaded data. It quickly runs into the Terabyte range.

The cameras are frequently cheap crap that breaks constantly as they're turned out quickly to meet demand.

The data typically is safeguarded in such a way that only an administrator can delete, transfer, or alter files. The individual officer can view the video, but not alter it.


Although I think it is a dangerous precedent, the video would only be recorded if the frames were changing. This can cut down the amount of video storage significantly. A Go-Pro like camera attached to the battery of the vehicle, would last indefinitely.



posted on Feb, 19 2018 @ 01:32 AM
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a reply to: Subrosabelow

No idea what all these people whining about battery life are on about.

I build computer systems for a living and have been in tech, heavily, since 2006.

Last year, I built a raspberry pi 3, with an rpicam that could record 720p or 1080p and still photo even higher.

My system had a touch screen and I could power it for a solid 10-16 hours off of a battery I picked up for $10 in a Walmart checkout lane.

I sprung for a 20,000 mAh backup battery $25 in the Walmart electronics department.

I can run my raspberry pi 3 system for a week with passive action. Multiple days, if I'm actively using the system.

The "horrible technology" is no longer a valid counter argument. If they can afford military surplus grenade launchers, they can afford crap I can buy at Walmart and Amazon for less than $100.




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