Thursday, March 3, 2011

Watching YOU

Everywhere you go now there are video recording machines. The building I work in is covered by at least three different systems and probably more. Every bank, every ATM, every cell phone, police car, bus and large building seems to be covered with cameras. When you are working the field just assume that everything you do is being recorded on video by someone.

I don’t object to being video taped as such. Since I don’t plan on doing anything I should not be doing the fact that I am on tape is only going to show that I did a proper job. Perhaps not always the best possible job, but certainly that I acted in a reasonable and professional manner. The problem is that I don’t control the tape. So people can re-edit the tape to show anything. Years ago the news media re-edited the Rodney King tape showing officers striking a large suspect with their batons so it appeared the struck him more frequently and without pause.

I also don’t like the subject of an investigation to tape me. It interferes with the investigation. I want to talk to him, not his camera. I want his hands where I can see them, not shoving some camera in my face. It’s a matter of both efficiency and officer safety. I don’t want him playing up to the camera trying to get good footage because he will re-edit it later. I don’t want him to have a potential weapon in his hands. It’s about getting the job done without an additional distraction; that’s what the SGT Says.


Bob G. said...

You nailed it when you used the word DISTRACTION!

That's what ALL this (and damn near everything else in life these days) seems to be about.

Everyone of us is being "distracted" in some manner, and it's small wonder we can get ANYTHING done, let alone done right.

Technology is a big player when it comes to assessing BLAME...when it's used improperly.

We've got to watch BOTH HANDS when it comes to dealing with people...and dealing with life.

Excellent post.

Roll safe this weekend.

Bunkermeister said...

I am hoping for case law that will allow officers to stop people they contact from holding things in their hands, like a camera, that are not a threat as such. It's too distracting and could conceal a gun.

SgtSonic said...

"The chances someone video taping you is proportional to the stupidity of your act..."

Bunkermeister said...

That's very true.