Screen shot 2013-02-20 at 2.11.59 PMFrom the Blue Banner, the campus newspaper at UNC Asheville:

The new policy of body worn video cameras, effective Feb. 4, requires officers to record suspicious situations, investigations of incidents, traffic stops and any interactions that supply evidentiary value to an investigation, according to the official policy and procedure of body worn video cameras.

These small, portable cameras, attached either on the clothing of the officer or on a fixture worn on the head, provide an effective perspective on suspicious situations, Boyce said.

The new body worn camera systems record only when the officer thinks the situation requires it. When not recording, the camera either buffers every 30 seconds, which allows for the filing of a visual pre-event during the last buffer period in case the officer sets the camera to record after important events already occurred, or the officer can completely shut the camera off, Boyce said.

The policy and procedures of the body worn video cameras does not require officers to inform subjects when the officer decides to record them; however, the officer must disclose that information if asked.

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7 Comments

  1. Richard East says:

    Body Worn Videos (BWVs), like the dash-cams that preceded them, improve officer safety, accountability, public trust, and criminal offender conviction rates.

    The National Police Accountability Project, a plaintiffs’ attorneys organization to combat police misconduct, has on its website this Univ of Pittsburgh Law School report strongly supporting Body Worn Videos for police officers: http://www.nlg-npap.org/system/files/Harris-Video.pdf

    Other reports on BWVs include one published by the Dept. of Justice:
    https://www.justnet.org/pdf/00-Body-Worn-Cameras-508.pdf
    and another by the Univ of Central Florida (website address too long to include here, but can be easily found on the web).

    I challenge anyone to provide reputable reports, studies or journal articles that take the position that BWVs are not a benefit to both police officers and to the public they serve.

  2. Citizens have the right to record police activity in North Carolina. In Asheville, they record officers daily and much of it ends up on YouTube. Perfectly legal.

    I’ve had downtown buskers and artists yell at me for taking a photo on a public street here, but never once has that happened with a police officer. (There’s no legal right to privacy on a public street, so yes, anyone can take your picture/video when you’re in public.)

    Calling police “pigs,” along with misstating the law is offensive.

  3. Good job, Abe. The lack of punctuation combined with the sophomoric reference in your statement really drive your point home.

    Murphy, I think the Chief could have done a better job of explaining how the camera works. I have seen these before; they are digital, and have a “pre-event” record option. Basically when the camera is on, it always records. When the officer manually presses the record button, the camera can also be set to include 30 seconds of video/audio prior to the button being pressed.

    • I think you are missing the point, which is that we civilians have just as much of a right to watch and record police officers on duty and ensure their lawful actions as the police do to record civilian activity. If the police officer has full control over when to record and when not to, it does nothing to protect the rights of the layman, who is the one footing the bill for this technology.

      • I didn’t miss the point, Jenna. Citizens have every right to record the police, and I do not recall saying anything contrary to that fact. North Carolina law is clear in that regard, as well as the fact that in the case of recording two parties, only one of the involved parties have to give consent to record. And one of them can be the recorder.

  4. seems to me the camera should record the entire shift regardless of whether the cop thinks the events warrant recording or not …

    if not, how does this prevent malfeasance on the part of the wearer?

  5. Abraham Lincoln says:

    so it can be used against people but not against those pigs

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