Posts Tagged ‘ Police Cameras ’

Crime Prevention with CCTV

Written By:
Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

A smart man once said “A picture is worth a thousand words”. Well, the video footage that records 30 frames per second, has a lot to say. The CCTV trend started in 1986 in the United Kingdom with 3 cameras in 1 square mile area in a town called King’s Lynn. Today, England has more CCTV cameras than any country in the world, with half a million making up its network, nicknamed the “Ring of Steel”. In all those years of development, the “Ring of Steel” cost more than $330 million. Many U.S. cities, including New York, Philadelphia and Chicago, followed and began installing the police surveillance cameras in the early 1990s. Those CCTV systems jumped by almost 700 percent from 1980-2000. With the multiple gadgets that we carry every day in our possession, the recording of video footage became more accessible to each one of us. If you also take into consideration the multiple CCTV systems that are installed everywhere we go, there is a very good chance that someone’s camera will record the incident that you are involved in. Knowing this, most say that having this amount of cameras is also a great crime prevention utility.

Law enforcement use of CCTV as a tool to fight crime and terrorism has become more prevalent over time. Do you ever get the feeling you’re being watched? Walking down the street, do you sense that someone somewhere is keeping an eye on you? These days, chances are, you’re right. A growing number of cities across the United States and abroad have installed networks of closed-circuit television CCTV cameras. Police monitor the video in an effort to prevent crime and catch lawbreakers in the act. In the United States, privacy issues related to the use of CCTV surveillance are first and foremost in regard to the 4th amendment of the United States Constitution, which protects a citizen from unreasonable searches and seizures by law enforcement and other government agencies. The emphasis is on the protection of people, not places. As a result, at least in terms of clearly public places, citizens cannot have an expectation of privacy. Surveillance of individuals in public places would therefore appear to be constitutionally acceptable. This interpretation stretches only so far.

One of the best examples is the Boston Marathon bombing that happened on April 15, 2013. 3 days after, the suspects were identified by the FBI using video surveillance footage. The CCTV system played a major role in identifying the responsible for the terror act.


One of the most useful applications for video recording evidence is to establish the identity of the perpetrator(s) of an offence. This is especially important given the frailties that are associated with eyewitness identification evidence.

Mobile video surveillance also became very popular and used daily by the law enforcement agencies. Today, many police departments in the United States and worldwide are applying this technology to patrol operations by equipping their vehicles with mobile video recording equipment. Although the early attempts to place cameras in patrol vehicles were full with technical and safety problems, miniaturization and advances in technology have made the use of the mobile video recorder practical and affordable. As technology in the field of audio/visual recordings evolves, equipping police vehicles with in-car cameras will be the norm and no longer the exception. Now, some police departments are using miniaturized video cameras and their microphones to capture, in full detail, officers’ interactions with civilians. High-capacity battery packs can last for an extended shift. And, all of the videos are uploaded automatically to a central server that serves as a kind of digital evidence locker. Undoubtedly CCTV evidence is convincing, though CCTV’s ability to reduce overall crime levels through detection (rather than prevention) is less convincing and arguably a less effective way of impacting crime. For this mechanism to be effective, the implementer must believe arrests are the best way to solve a crime problem.

Not only agencies are using the advantage of the CCTV systems. Since the whole trend started, the prices of these systems decreased dramatically and became very affordable for private citizens.  It seems like the best defense in court today, is the video footage that will prove beyond the reasonable doubt your righteousness in a court of law. The law abiding citizen knows that video footage is the best way to protect his/herself in a shooting situation afterwards in court. There are approximately 300 million guns in US which are part of our life and used daily by good guys and bad guys as well. Unfortunately, the forensic science cannot provide the whole picture in the investigation of a crime scene, and you can find yourself in trouble with the law very quickly.  Any attorney will tell you that there is a very thin line between self-defense and man-slaughter and there is no better way to prove that you had the right to use your firearm to defending yourself, than with video footage.

In 2014, we witnessed 2 very controversial incidents that made a lot of waves in arguing the right for self-defense. Both the shootings of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown did not have any video surveillance evidence, which made those very hard to prove and cost the tax payer a substantial amount of money. Can you imagine of how things could have turned out differently if they had the video footage of the incidents!??!?!


Implementers should be aware that technology is always on the march, and a number of particular innovations are imminent. Two systems are undergoing rapid development. Backscatter low-level x-ray imaging is a technology that provides the potential to see through clothing and detect weapons and other prohibited materials. Facial recognition systems require a link to another computer system within a police department, such as a database containing photographs of wanted individuals. Beyond their use to identify specific fugitives, the next generation of CCTV camera images may also be analyzed by problem recognition systems. Unlike basic motion detection systems (which activate a camera when a sensor is tripped), problem recognition systems are software programs that interpret video images from a CCTV camera. The program attempts to identify problems such as potential robberies or street brawls by seeking out unusual characteristics or patterns in digital images. They can also be programmed to identify out-of-place articles, such as abandoned packages or weapons. Some cities are also considering the introduction of cameras with systems that can identify the source of firearm activity and automatically train their cameras on the source of that activity. All of these next-generation systems will carry with them particular issues in terms of police response, the public’s perception of safety, and, may also influence the public’s perception of the government’s intrusion into private life.


The Importance of Police Cameras

Written By:
Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

Should Law Enforcement Personnel use Police Cameras?

The answer is coming forth as an overwhelming, “Yes!” especially since the recent turmoil in Ferguson, MO. In Ferguson a white police officer shot a black teen and since there is no real evidence, there is no way to say if the cop was over-excessive in his use of force or if the perpetrator had it coming. If the officer had been wearing some kind of body camera, the evidence would have been clear. As of today, the Ferguson Police Department has adopted the use of Police Cameras to document events.

In other areas of the country, police cameras have been adopted and some have had great success in initial statistic for crime reduction. In a cited study from USA Today, it seems that the Rialto Police Department in California adopted police cameras in 2012 and so far has seen an “88% decrease in citizen complaints and a 60% reduction in use-of-force incidents.” The author of the article wasn’t sure if that was due to the cameras or the fact that the officers were now being watched themselves, and therefor were behaving like police officers should be.

What is a Police Camera?

A police camera is a device that can be worn by the police officer to record surveillance footage when he is engaged in his duties, whether it is responding to a call, pursuing someone on foot, on a stakeout and many other scenarios. In the past, these cameras were mounted on the police car dashboards and have been made famous by the TV Show “Cops”, where it will show the actions as the officers are driving. The one drawback to this however is that as soon as the police get out of the car and pursue the perpetrator, there is no more surveillance footage except if there is a helicopter with a camera following the chase. Even then, though, there is no close-up or audio and if the chase goes into the woods, there is no recording.

Because it is getting increasing important for these chases and arrests to be documented, especially in the court of law, police officers are now starting to wear body cameras.

Body Police Camera

There are many police cameras on the market, and this AXON body camera is just an example of what some law enforcement agencies are using. What I like about this camera is its wide field of view. Just like our CCTV cameras at the AXON camera can see more than most cameras on the market as you can see from the picture below.

Camera Field Of View

Field of View is very important for a police camera because it shows more on the left and right then the typical police cameras out there. When recording, for the sake of evidence, you want to see as much as possible which brings me to my next point, recording time.

Another great feature about this camera is the video buffer. Just like how our DVRs and NVRs can record prior to a motion event, this body police camera will show in the recording 30 seconds prior to the officer pushing the record button. This is due to the camera always recording and deleting even when the record button is not pushed.

A third feature of this camera is the ability to record in low light which allows more to be seen at night when all the officer has is his flashlight. Other police cameras cannot record in low light so all that will be shown in court would be a dark image with sound.

These are all great features, but what good is having amazing recordings without being able to have the footage readily available for the lawyers that are going to use these in a trial?

Police Camera Surveillance Evidence

In CCTV, recorded footage is on the DVR Hard Drive, and that footage can be transferred to a storage device such as a thumb drive easily for the authorities to use. For the police camera, it is not as easy as that, but there is a solution created by and the makers of the AXON camera, Taser. When the officer gets off duty, all he needs to do is dock the camera in the charger and it will automatically upload all the footage to, provided his agency subscribes to that service. Otherwise, if the law enforcement agency has their own way of keeping footage on their computers that option is available. Keeping digital evidence and maintaining it can be very costly and that is why is a great solution. The officers can do simple searches by date, location, text and other ways to find the exact footage needed. This is especially helpful if a citizen has a complaint over how he was arrested or if the court has summoned for the evidence. Either way, the officers are assured that their footage is in tact.


In conclusion it is very important for our day to day lives to be recorded. With CCTV recording our homes, businesses and schools, there has to be documented footage on what police officers are doing. Police cameras can not only record what criminals are doing and their actions, but they are also keeping an eye on the police officers as well. The officers that use excessive force for no reason will not be able to get away with it, and also if a criminal is acting out of conduct, that will be documented as well and a clear arrest will be made.

One thing I could not find out about is if there is a penalty to the police officer that does not turn his camera on. In my opinion I believe that if the officer “forgets” to push the record button and then something controversial happens like in Ferguson MO, then the officer should be penalized.

It is my hope that police cameras will bring down the crime rate since criminals know they are being watchd, and it is also my hope that police brutality will decrease as it has done in Rialto, California.


The Past and Future of Security Cameras in the Judicial System

Written By:
Monday, July 28th, 2014

Judicial-Image myspace graphic comments
Security cameras have been around since Woodstock. In the 1960’s banks all over the United States began using cameras for securing their perimeters. In the 70s, the Akai security system used a monochrome camera connected to a reel to reel VTR to preserve data. Later in the 90s multiplexing was introduced allowing the viewing and recording of multiple video signals, motion only recording and time lapse video. We all know what capabilities computers gave us for recording data to CDs, DVDs, Flash drives and large capacity hard drives.

Cameras Securing Court Houses

Sheriff deputies are usually guarding the court-house front. They count on instinct when judging someone’s character, whether it’s a high-profile criminal or an enraged victim. Court house guards need to have their eyes peeled at all times, and using CCTV camera systems is one of the real-time observation tools they use to accomplish this very difficult task.

court house scan

Security cameras have the responsibility to keep judges, lawyers, prosecutors, the public, inmates and reporters safe when attending all court proceedings. Monitoring these cameras are dedicated technicians looking out for the unexpected.  Bond hearings, motions, and sentencing can now be recorded and saved into the courthouse database. Security cameras also help to secure prisoners to and from the intake of the court-house.

Security Cameras in Jails

Using security camera monitoring in jails has been around for a while now. Older systems were composed of analog cameras wired to an analog TV monitor with no recording, then came BETA MAX and VHS/VCR tape recorders with NO long-term recording capabilities.

outside ptz jail

camera monitoring jail

Now in the new world we can record to hard drives that have virtually endless storage space. When there’s a conflict in question, the jail’s security camera recordings never lie. The security cameras allow 24 hour monitoring inside and outside inmate receiving, housing, cafeteria, elevators and every area that needs to be surveyed. Inmates are even going to court and seeing the judge via camera –to- monitor configuration. Visitation is dealt with a 2 way video and audio telephone system, you see the inmate through a screen and speak with a telephone.

House Arrest

House arrest is a different option for adult and juvenile offenders that have been arrested for a crime that qualifies the inmate under state and federal statues to be placed on some sort of monitoring system like an ankle bracelet or visits from certified state or federal officials to check on the inmate on a scheduled basis, questioning relatives, harassing landlord’s, employers and wasting time playing detective.

house arrest

I truly believe that Security Cameras are the future of offender supervision using new IP camera digital video and audio viewing and recording technology. It takes time, money, resources, approvals and a telephone line to monitor a House Arrest prisoner, using an Ankle bracelet that should be tamper proof, but if a criminal really knows what they’re doing, they can bypass the security by either slipping out of the bracelet or disabling the Bluetooth radio receiver unit.

probation girl

TechPro Security Products can now recommend a new and innovated thinking outside the DVR BOX and offer a cost, time and serious monitoring effective tool to get the job done. Its more than likely people tend to have Internet at their home then a telephone line, so installation of IP Supervision Cameras would be a breeze. Step 1 evaluate house arrest inmates internet status. Once established Step 2 a certified IP camera network specialist would install and configure the IP Cameras for the state or federal official to remote view, access and record to a secured cloud based server.

ip camera wirless

Adult and juvenile offenders arrested for crimes can have a term imposed on their bond, like not leaving the county or home, so the court elects home detention. Well what better way to monitor a person confined to their home then by using a camera design to supervise the accused person on release or bond. Imagine the peace of mind that the victim and bail bondsmen would have if they implemented IP Cameras mandatory installed in the offenders certified place of residence, or a sex offenders probation officer really knowing if his offender is telling the truth. Real Time Observation and recording is the answer. Safer, Braver and Stronger is the way to go.

dome ip

Probation and Parole

perol guy

Probation or Parole depending on a the state or federal prosecutors deal or contract, substitutes the inmates time in prison for close probation or parole supervision, but how is the probation officer supposed to supervise all those violators at the same time? TechPro Security IP Technology using IP Cameras to monitor Probation or Parolees is the answer. When offenders checking in is a hassle, you can observe violators under court ordered supervision at any time using TechPro Security PSS software. Is the Probation or Parolee drinking or partying, who’s really living at the supervised inmate’s residents and what friends are really visiting the Probation or Parolee? Offenders are more than likely to not invite BAD acquaintances over if their home is being monitored and recorded by a certified official’s server.

Sex Offenders

sex offender

Registered sex offenders classified as court ordered repeat offenders can now be monitored 24 hours a day 7 days a week using IP Security camera technology, all you need is Internet access at the registered sex offender’s home. Security cameras are a big deterrent, if you think someone is always watching you, you will be more than likely not to commit a crime. Probation and parole officers can now demand a pop up check in on demand via real-time IP Cameras at a local location, checking in with a probation or parole officer has never been easier. Security cameras monitoring pedophiles would increase children of all age’s safety.

Police Car Cameras

police car

Analog Cameras have been recording police evidence to tape recorders for years now, with all the new Megapixel technology cameras authorities can really use unedited and unaltered video and audio recordings real-time uploaded to the cloud for evidence. Lawyers and prosecutors have used police captured footage entered for evidence in big cases. The recorded footage helps eliminate any false accusations against the police officers and the detained individuals. Police cameras record events like DUI tests, police chases, speeding, auto accidents and arrests. Police cars now have cameras capable of scanning license plates for expired and suspended licenses. Mobile cameras have been recording streets and location points for Google map for years, mapping our city streets for GPS software. Cameras are even looking out for red light runners and traffic violators. K9 police and military dogs are even getting in on the wireless remote camera view, not excluding the new drone technology, that’s another subject in its self. The future of authorized supervision are IP Cameras.

police camerapolice car wifi

I can see the future of remote security access record and viewing. Imagine a business like a restaurant or bar that has a full security camera system that has been configured for remote access using an external IP address and there is a hold up and the manager hits an alarm or calls 911 and the data sent is accompanied by the external IP address of the business security camera system and the officer in route can pull up the cameras in the police cars laptop. The advantage of seeing the inside of a dangerous situation is priceless! If the criminal flees before authorities get there they still can view recorded footage and track the offenders direction of departure giving the police officer a heads up to track the suspects down. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for Security Camera Technology.