Maryland Police Use New High Tech Police Cameras - KMSP-TV

Maryland Police Use New High Tech Police Cameras

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LAUREL, MD -

A routine traffic stop May 24th. A suspected drunk driver sits at the wheel. Everything the officer sees is caught on camera.

The driver searches for her registration and responds to the officer's question. And then she steps on the gas and speeds off. The camera shows exactly how it played out. She drives Northbound in the Southbound lanes of Route One.

The new generation police video camera provides a recording of the officer's point of view during stops. The Laurel police department uses ten.

"We can replay that back later if we have any questions about what went on, and it preserves evidence for court," says Detective Sarver:

The camera mounts to an officer's sunglasses or a head band. The footage is downloaded to an officer's phone and stored on a police department server. An officer can even review it for more accurate police reports.

In some cases, the cameras help diffuse a situation.

"It was a very large fight at a bar," says Sarver. "As soon as I walked up somebody who was coming out of the bar saw the camera on my head and he started yelling he's got a camera on he's got a camera on and watch out."

Officers say that when people know they're on camera, they're more likely to behave. But not always. Back to the suspected drunk driver in Laurel. The officer's POV camera captures how it ended:

The officers catch up with the car, and the driver makes a run for it. The officers take her down with a taser seconds later. It's also caught on camera.

"Put your hands behind your back!" says the officers.

Laurel police say the cameras have reduced complaints. The Maryland ACLU says that proof of what happens during a police stop protects both the officer and the citizen.

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