Body Camera Case Study - Pasadena Police Department, CA
The city of Pasadena is in Los Angeles County, California. The police department there have been successfully working with Reveal RS1-SX body cameras and Digital Evidence Management Software (DEMS) since March 2014.
Officer Joshua Jones is coordinating the project. We asked him how the project has been going.
What has the Pasadena Police Dept been trying to achieve with body-worn video?
One of the main goals with body-worn video is more coverage to ward against fraudulent claims of misconduct. We had to pay out a settlement for an incident that occurred in our jail that, if caught on camera, would have likely been exonerated.
Since then, we’ve completely overhauled the jail surveillance system. We want to do the same from the officer’s perspective, so those initial contacts - and initial complaints - can be handled more quickly.
Has body-worn video worked for you?
Acceptance of the cameras has been relatively good so far, especially since the majority of cameras are earmarked for use during Old Town beat operations. That’s officers doing focused enforcement in Old Town Pasadena during peak bar and club hours. Contacts with drunken subjects, subjects fighting, and so on have been an issue there.
About the cameras themselves - has the front-facing screen made a difference?
Some officers like it, some prefer the privacy screen. When people see themselves being recorded, it can go one of two ways – they can check their behavior because they know they’re being recorded, or they can become more agitated because they don’t want to be recorded. But I would certainly urge other departments to test it out for themselves and form their own conclusions.
The articulated head?
The articulated head is great. We have officers ranging from 5’2” to 6’4”. And then there’s mounting. Some like the camera front and center, some put it on their belt.
One size does not fit all, so being able to adjust the camera is crucial.
The one-touch record button?
Simple is key. Any successful body camera needs this feature.
How have you found working with DEMS?
I have heard no complaints from users – which is a good thing! With minimal training, officers have been able to search, review, and export their own videos. Just like with the on/off switch, ease of use with the DEMS is the most highly rated characteristic.
Have you tried any other body cameras? How do Reveal cameras compare?
We have tested several different body-worn cameras, with the largest deployment being with Reveal cameras. It’s a technology that is here to stay. That said, it’s still in its infancy. Companies like Reveal are getting closer to the answer with products like the RS1-SX. Small, easy to use, and self-contained.
And finally, how have you found working with the people at Reveal?
I’m absolutely a fan of Reveal. I have had nothing but positive experiences with their Sales and Support staff and truly appreciate their design decisions.