It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Our police problems can be solved. Pt 1 - Recording

page: 1

log in


posted on Aug, 16 2014 @ 02:31 AM
This is a thread that has really come to be more timely here lately. It's not just what is happening in Missouri. It's a couple of years of regular stories of excess, cases of profoundly bad judgement and yes, some outright criminal behavior among those we trust with the most power within society. Our Police and other Law Enforcement.

So how do we address this problem?

After all, it can never be forgotten that Police are almost unique in society for being in a position, by the nature and design of the job, to fundamentally alter the direction of the lives of everyone they come in contact with.

So what do we do? What can we do? I have a two part solution. The first part? We need to know what our police are up to! It isn't THAT hard, and it isn't THAT costly. The Second part? We need to treat our police BETTER ...and those who hate cops on general principle will probably not find anything productive here.

For everyone else..we have a problem and there are solutions. They'll cost a few bucks, for either one. However, we are seeing the cost of not addressing it, and it's not just dollars. It's quality of life. It's a sense of security in our own streets in many places.

|I| - Trust the Police.....and Verify Everything.

Okay, this is an issue and it's a big one. "He said / She said" where the stakes are life, death and the loss of liberty itself. That is not just the citizen on the pointy end, although it normally is by statistical facts. Cops do end up getting that pointy end on false accusations, and WE ALL get it by living, working or heaven forbid, owning a business in a city of any size.

That last part comes from the civil liability suits which normally settle, rarely present a major hitch in the life of the Officer, and make the person filing a good chunk of change. Necessary sometimes, and abused just as much or more, IMO. So...Stop it all.


POV Cameras are getting smaller, and cameras of other sorts are becoming both cheap and tiny. In my view Cameras should be a legal requirement established for every police vehicle, including helicopters and boats, with audio channels to cover each person assigned to the vehicle for that shift. Additionally, each officer should be required to have a camera on their body which should activate when it loses signal contact with the vehicle. That threshold should be set within the reasonable range of the unit based camera, if we assume it is pointed toward something happening.

That is hardly unique though, and while my two state senators are nursing a bill through to reform police response and militarization, there is another reform whose time has come, and technology has now made possible.

Recording of every video and individual audio feed in a way the public can access, within reasonable limitations..and which a mechanism exists for a higher level of access to those needing it. Defense attorneys, for example. That is the idea.


I did some checking here, and it's interesting to see. According to this 3 page PDF report from Seagate Technologies, and depending on encoding methods for recording the video?

Each Terrabyte of hard drive space records like this:

352x240 / 30Fps = 88 days with Mpeg-4 and 138 days with H.264.
704x480 / 30Fps = 28 days with Mpeg-4 and 44 days with H.264.
1290x1024 / 30Fps = 8 days with Mpeg-4 and 14 days with H.264.

I did some checking and a 5 Terra drive can be had at a mid range cost of around $500. That's 40 DAYS worth of high resolution recording. Drop that by a % for the audio stream, and it should still be a 30 d

Counting Federal and allowing a margin of error to go higher, I picked 800,000 as a number of police to assume need storage. Numbers I've seen published are closer to 750,000, as a side note.

800,000 x $500 = 400 Million dollars. (Obama spent 25% of that cost for one trip to Africa by comparison for context)

Add another $500 per officer for initial infrastructure of the servers and unit based equipment. Now we're at 800 Million. Thats for the WHOLE nation.

800 Million in largely one time costs with time between requiring any full replacements on the overall system. Oh...and how to make the system?

Second Reference for Time vs. Drive Space


posted on Aug, 16 2014 @ 02:31 AM

The next problem Current cameras often can be moved, turned off or tampered with to defeat the oversight they are designed to give. My solution is to put them on a live streaming feed supplemented by burst uploading at the next opportunity during periods where signal loss occurs. As close to a real time flow, as it's happening (and before anyone knows something to hide is happening) with a permanent record.

So how? Well... It would need to be built on a chain moving upward. City police can record to servers held at the Sheriff's office. Sheriff can send their own staff recording up to State Police, and State level or state agents of other kinds can send up to federal. That isn't duplicating each levels storage upward, but each level has it's OWN people recording elsewhere to prevent conflict of interest.

Google and others have solid, reliable and working automatic face blurring software already. That can be instituted and improved as necessary to screen every video going into storage for a lower resolution copy to be available for public view. Either by a time line for delayed release or after investigations are complete on things covering case sensitive material. Those segments STILL being available but not openly for casual curiosity.

In fact, any of it ought to take a FOIA request to prevent it becoming an alternative to TV for entertainment (and enormous costs to the Government for bandwidth alone..which is our taxes), however, still available.

It's done in our names, let it be seen by our eyes and heard by our ears. It's fair and democratic for a free society, isn't it?


Now on this, I seriously propose these archives carry ALL recording and that recording be covering ALL times, period.

On-Duty = On the Record and Streaming.

Undercover should have special handling for ALL involved in those situations, but still...recorded. If they go off duty, dispatch can drop the feed recording at the same time status is changed ...with serious consequence to something "just happening" in that allowance to privacy. Repeat bringing dismissal without ceremony.

In short, I propose this become a Federal standard and requirement for credentials and recognition being given to a law enforcement agency. ...and this includes Federal at all levels of enforcement. Who would hold those recordings is an open question.

If police are recorded 100% and 100% of the time on duty, only screw ups will cost the city (us) money...but cops who just shouldn't be doing the job will have proof of that which supervisors can review (but never change or alter. Access to that, simply blocked). It might get more badly trained and plain incompetent cops out, too.


Part 2 covers my idea on how to replace those found and fired while keep good ones.

posted on Aug, 16 2014 @ 02:42 AM
Better yet ... put an automatic and mandatory public disclosure date on the recordings.

Failure to disclose = total forfeiture of all personal taxes. No excuses ... no exceptions.

I say this ... because there's no way undercover work is going to be recorded live. Think about it.

posted on Aug, 16 2014 @ 02:42 AM
a reply to: Wrabbit2000

I agree with much of what you present. Completely support the concept. It would certainly help.

But another problem cameras will not fully resolve is that of bad management.

In the end, I happen to believe much of what we see as the 'police' problem is really about poor leadership...or worse, complicit or wrongful leadership.

There's an old saying about the "fish rots from the head". I think it applies here. How do we go about fixing that?

edit on 16-8-2014 by loam because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 16 2014 @ 02:46 AM
a reply to: loam

I've been a busy bunny on my last eve of vacation...there be a part II and it is finished. Just formatting a little now and it's up in a bit. That may answer the issue you raise there.

posted on Aug, 16 2014 @ 02:52 AM
a reply to: Wrabbit2000

This is being trialed by the London Met police.

A trial will see 500 devices distributed to officers across 10 London boroughs. Firearm officers will also use them in their training.

Of course, in this human melting pot, people are already taking sides with some complaining it's an infringement of personal liberty and some police complaining that it places their judgement under suspicion. In the main, these mini-cameras are intended to bridge the gap between allegations (on all sides), suspicions and realities.

The big issue is the obvious one.

Will they just be recording or will the footage make officers accountable? In the US there appears to an overflow of incriminating video footage and an apparent lack of accountability. Are existing laws being applied or might these cameras become an expensive piece of redundant kit??

posted on Aug, 16 2014 @ 02:59 AM
a reply to: Wrabbit2000

Ah, very good.

And one more point: Let's protect the right of the public to reasonably record the actions of law enforcement officials.

posted on Aug, 16 2014 @ 03:29 AM
a reply to: loam

That is an issue I would like to see run up to the Supreme Court and get settled in a way everyone from a back country protester or whistle blower to all levels of cops are well aware of.

They need to respect anyone filming what is within open view of the public. Heck, that should just be common sense to the concept of public.

posted on Aug, 16 2014 @ 03:39 AM
a reply to: Kandinsky

Will they just be recording or will the footage make officers accountable?

That there's some pretty deep thinking. I don't know about you, but I'd like to think it would. Could wind up making a fairly decent cop, one who is accountable to another, whose interests lie in blackmail.

Interesting subject to explore, Wrabbit.

posted on Aug, 16 2014 @ 03:56 AM
a reply to: Snarl

That should be the ultimate goal, shouldn't it? There'll always be parts of society who complain about the police and there'll always be parts of whoever's police force who are bad.

The potential transparency of having footage should redeem the police in the eyes of the wider public.

It won't amount to anything more than a profit margin for the winning tender (or friends) if the same blind eye is turned.

We had an officer in the UK caught out by camera and found to have been a major factor in the death of a passer-by after he shoved him to the ground. Without the independent footage, the man's death would not have been in front of a Jury and defined as 'unlawful killing.' Left to the police, his death would have been attributed to misadventure on the passer-by's part as they had already ruled that the officer had acted appropriately.

So I guess for this system to work a third party would need to have access to footage or it would need to be collected/copied to an independent store.

ETA: sorry mate, forgot the link!
edit on 16-8-2014 by Kandinsky because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 16 2014 @ 04:04 AM
a reply to: Kandinsky

I think if one watches sites like Courthouse News (I know, their idea of spacing articles isn't easy on the then you can follow a regular and steady flow of cases filed all over the nation, all the time, and against departments and cities both. Normally paid on settlements by insurance carriers to whichever or both is being sued as I understand the way this all works.

So, it's fair to say action is taken now, and people do react to get something done. The problem would be that losing legitimate suits isn't resulting in dismissal of the cops who are behind the action which brought it.

Of course I know they get nuisance and B.S. suits at a far higher number than legitimate ones (especially while settling is the order of the day) but legit serious losses can be a place to start at a new accountability.

posted on Aug, 16 2014 @ 04:21 AM
a reply to: Wrabbit2000

Yeah I agree with you in general and we're liable to thinking of slightly different contexts as the UK police and the US police are different beasts.

In our countries, police receive complaints all the time and they are dealt with accordingly. There are good systems in place, but can they be improved? What process would your US police follow to make the video footage a neutral safeguard of good behaviour?

You know, if Officer 1 overreacts and is seen by Officer 2, should 2 make that complaint? Sure! What if Officer 2 knows 1 is having family trouble...father in hospital for example? Would one human to another jeopardise a partner's career when they made an error that was circumstantial?

Simplistic scenario, I know. If someone complained about Officer 1, who would be the gatekeeper of the footage? Officer 2 feels the right thing is to keep quiet and support Officer 1. The Precinct feels that Officer 1 would benefit from a verbal, informal caution and brushes aside the complaint as it wasn't a 'serious' offence.

Do you see where this is going? Who gets to judge the content of the footage? At what level of grievance would the footage be viewable and who would make the call? Would everyone be entitled to view footage and how would that be implemented with considerations of costs, staffing, privacy etc.

I'm not arguing against the idea of kitting the police out with cameras - it's got a lot in its favour. Nevertheless, there are a lot of issues that are raised by their usage and that accountability is a big one.

posted on Aug, 16 2014 @ 04:28 AM
a reply to: Wrabbit2000

After all, it can never be forgotten that Police are almost unique in society for being in a position, by the nature and design of the job, to fundamentally alter the direction of the lives of everyone they come in contact with.

Most of the cops I have come into contact with are decent people, but they are mindless automatons working to maintain the structural foundations of society - which is often ultra conservative and out-of-touch with the 21st century.

I just want to put it out there that I hate them for fundamentally altering the direction of my life. I did shine a high-powered green laser up towards a police helicopter a few years ago, absent-mindedly - and although I got in trouble for it, the helicopter pilot died mysteriously shortly after.

posted on Aug, 16 2014 @ 01:03 PM
Theres got to be certain limits, fancy seeing plods willy while he takes a leak or more importantly interviewing a rape/child molestation victim etc

top topics


log in