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Article: Digital Video System in Police Cars

Here's an interesting article from the Patriot News (8-12-04), "Police Plugged In; Digital Video Gives Officers Solid Evidence" on the use of digital video in police cars. (Wisconsin residents can view the article at no cost using Badgerlink)

From the article:

A TiVo-style digital video system designed for police cruisers is making it easier for officers on patrol to make charges stick against lawbreakers and avoid frivolous lawsuits.

The Tyler Police Department in Texas recently outfitted its 60 patrol cars with dash-mounted systems, saying the technology helps catch criminals in the act and, over the long term, saves money.

"Now that I've got them on video, I figure, 'Let's go to court, I'd be happy to play them for you,'" Tyler police officer John Weavers said.

Tyler, a city of about 83,000 people 90 miles east of Dallas, is one of seven police departments using a digital video system from IBM's Global Services division and Coban Research and Technologies Inc., a private company near Houston. The product is one of the first specifically designed for law enforcement.

Source: Ernie the Attorney


This is interesting, and I do hope that it helps curtail real crime. However, these sorts of technological advances can be abused by corrupt police officers and law enforcement agents. Surveillance technology has been used to violate citizens' privacy and due process rights.

Police misconduct is a serious matter. Let's hope that this doesn't happen in Tyler.


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