340 Chicago patrol cars have been outfitted with surveillance cameras. Not all of the officers are turning theirs on, however, raising questions on what they may be hiding. According to the Chicago Sun Times the new cameras will be getting adjusted so they are no longer an option.
Cameras are installed in patrol cars to encourage accountability among law enforcement. As the Sun Times report points out, the resistance being felt is similar to the resistance police had when radios were first required—the cops are worried the cameras will somehow hinder their ability to do their job because they will be looking over their shoulder.
As it stands the cameras feature an on/off switch. Soon, however, they will be wired to come on with the ignition and remain running for an hour after the car is shut off.
Officers against the cameras state that they sometimes must use “harsh language” during their job performance and don’t want the cameras to paint them in a negative light. A Sergeant with the department, however, states the cameras are a “critical” measure to ensure officer accountability. She points out that allegations against police tend to drop when there is camera footage.
According to the report, audio is only recorded during traffic stops. One camera faces out of the front of the car, while another faces the back seat.
It is normal for officers to feel as if their privacy is being invaded when they are on camera for their entire shift. However, this camera is for their shift not their personal life. Their very role as police officer and the power that goes with that requires a bit of transparency. Or at least it should.
Cameras can work for you and they can work against you. A patrol camera can catch your sobriety test but it can also catch mistakes made by the police.
When you are facing criminal charges, the state will have evidence against you. The outcome of your case often depends on just what this evidence includes. Even if there is camera footage, there may still be options available to you.
Contact me today to discuss the details of your case and the charges against you.