Are Police Body Cameras Always On?
Updated: Nov 3, 2022
Body cameras have become a popular tool in law enforcement. They are used by law enforcement officers to record their interactions with the public. However, there is the question of whether body cameras are always on or not. LensLock’s body-worn cameras (BWCs) are active the moment they are powered on and have up to 12 hours of continuous recording time. The body-worn cameras feature a 90 second pre-record buffer that can include up to 90 seconds of recorded content prior to the officer hitting the “Record” button or starting the recording based on up to 8 pre-configured automatic triggers. The pre-record feature can be configured at the request of the law enforcement agency during the initial setup, with most agencies choosing the “30 seconds” setting. The “pre-record” option is a very useful feature because it provides up to 90 seconds of additional evidence that may offer insight into what happened prior to the recorded encounter, particularly in critical incidents.
How do LensLock Body Cameras Work?
As a LensLock BWC user, you’ll never have to worry about remembering to turn on your camera while in the heat of an encounter. LensLock customers have up to 8 auto-activation triggers to choose from to ensure cameras are recording every time they are supposed to be. There are several auto-activation options, such as speed detection, G-Force, gun lock/rack release, collision recognition, vehicle door open/close, sidearm or non-lethal holster activation, Code 2, and Code 3 alerts.
How is Body Camera Footage Managed?
Once body-worn camera video has been recorded throughout an officer’s shift, the video evidence is uploaded through a LensLock docking station and added to the FBI-CJIS compliant Microsoft Azure cloud based-storage platform, also known as LensLocker™. This system allows officers to easily and securely manage video details, such as encounter type, and add detailed incident notes. Not only is LensLocker™ FBI-CIJS compliant, so you can be assured your data is always secure, but it also offers dedicated D.A. access so you can share critical evidence and track access with chain of custody reporting.
Common Police Body Camera Laws
Public and media requests for body-worn camera (BWC) video are governed by local, tribal, state and federal laws. Law enforcement agencies work closely with their legal counsel on specific situations. States vary tremendously in the scope of their laws governing public access to government information, including BWC and dash cam video.
How is Body Camera Footage Used?
Body camera footage is a valuable tool for law enforcement agencies. It can be used to review law enforcement officer encounters and to provide evidence in criminal proceedings. BWCs have become more popular over the years because of their ability to provide transparency and accountability for officers, as well as the public. Body-worn cameras are useful for documenting evidence; officer training; preventing and resolving complaints brought by members of the public; and strengthening police transparency, performance, and accountability. In addition, given that law enforcement agencies now operate in a world in which anyone with a cell phone camera can record video footage of a police encounter, body-worn cameras help police departments ensure events are also captured from an officer’s perspective.
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