Transparency through Video Evidence

Transparency through Video Evidence


I found during my career in law
enforcement that the sooner I talked to people and explain what happened,
the happier they are and the sooner they will support you and back you. But even
your most staunch allies, if they don’t know the answers, they’ll ask questions
but if you give them the answers, then they will defend you tooth and
nail. And I feel that the best way to do your job as a chief is to be upfront
with your people. Video evidence has presented us with proof of operations. We
believe in being above board on everything we do, we try to make sure
we’re doing everything right and being open to the public about what we do, and
so video evidence allows us to be able to show individuals the violations, the
the quality of policing that we do in our small community. It gives us
accountability, it gives the citizens accountability. The biggest reason too I think
is the citizen complaints. It’s very important for us to get to the bottom of
those complaints when they come in, and when they come in, sometimes they’re
pretty egregious, and sometimes they’re pretty far out there, but the video
evidence has always been a savior for us. It proves that in fact
almost all of them, I can’t recall any that we’ve had that were proven to be true,
that the officer had some sort of misconduct. And to me that says a lot. When an incident happens and someone says something different, what a
great way to find out the truth: You bring the video up. I really believe
that’s part of my transparency plan also because now I know that anything that
these officers are involved in and we’re questioned on, I have that, I have that
evidence, I have that video. So if I need to get something to prove to the
public or even to a defense attorney that this is the true story, this is what
happens, I have it. I have in-car video and I’m gonna have the body camera video.
It also has evolved to the fact that now juries, they want to see it because we
have lost some of our integrity in the world. Not because we’re bad cops, but
because a few bad cops have gotten in trouble.
The only way that we can bounce back from that is to continue down this path
of showing the world we really do do it right,
99.99% of the time we do it right and the video I believe shows that.

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