Digital Revolution Spreading To Police Cars
Police departments are starting to replace videotape recorders used in police cars with new digital video technology. Since the mid 1990s, many departments have employed in-squad cameras to record traffic violators and drunk driving suspects. Some of these departments are now upgrading to digital technology that is more reliable and easier to operate than VHS tapes.
Digital cameras can record sharper images and send them directly to computer hard drives or DVDs for easy and durable storage. Digital images last longer and can be copied without compromising the quality of the picture. Some systems can even record up to 30 seconds of footage before the camera is activated by an officer.
Law enforcement officials say these features make digital technology a valuable courtroom tool for both prosecutors and wrongly-accused defendants. They also hope that drivers will be more cautious knowing that digital cameras could be tracking their movements.
Though many departments currently lack the funds to purchase expensive digital systems, officials are optimistic that the cost will decrease as the technology improves and becomes more widely available.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from the Chicago Daily Herald (02/16/04) P. 1; Lissau, Russell .