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louisgodwin
07-05-2009, 07:44 AM
Does anyone here know approximately when dashboard cameras first became standard equipment in most police patrol vehicles? I remember they first came into existence after the whole Rodney King fiasco in the early 90's, but at what point did they become common in all police vehicles?

Also, were they always mounted on the dash? I have a vague, distant memory of a large bulky camera mounted inbetween the driver and passenger seats of a police cruiser.

This part of my novel I'm writing takes place in 1997. I've already scoured the internet and can't find a single thing concerning dash cam history. Any insight that anyone can provide is greatly appreciated. Thanks.

alleycat
07-05-2009, 07:57 AM
Interesting question.

This one might be a question for the officer.com forums. You can become a member as long as you register as a non law enforcement member. Then you can post a question in the Ask a Cop forum.

louisgodwin
07-05-2009, 09:13 AM
Cool. Thanks!

James D. Macdonald
07-05-2009, 09:51 AM
According to the US Bureau of Justice Statistics (http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/sandlle.htm):


Video Cameras

* In 2003, sixty percent of all local police departments and 66% of all sheriffs' offices used video cameras on a regular basis. The most common use of video cameras was in patrol cars, with 55% of local police departments and 58% of sheriffs' offices using video cameras in this application.

* A total of 48,800 in-car cameras were used by local police departments, and 17,700 by sheriffs' offices.

smcc360
07-05-2009, 07:55 PM
It depends on the department. Agency size, budget, and local politics all play a part. The technology certainly existed in 1997, but they've never been 'standard' in every cruiser in the US.

Rabe
07-06-2009, 02:14 AM
Does anyone here know approximately when dashboard cameras first became standard equipment in most police patrol vehicles?


How about this as an answer:

We'll let you know when it's common and standard practice for dashboard cameras to be standard equipment in most police patrol vehicles.

Rabe...
...who is only one of the six people in his station to have a dashboard cam...which is still useless since he can't download any of the information because he doesn't have a docking station...