James Boyd on Washington Park’s Body Worn Video
Washington Park is a small area set in the state of Illinois, US, with a small population and 44% of those living below the poverty line, leading to above-average levels of crime. The police department have been working successfully with Reveal RS1-SX cameras and Digital Evidence Management System (DEMS) since Christmas 2013.
James Boyd has been coordinating the project as Evidence Officer. His responsibilities for maintaining direct control over all property/evidence recovered by officers; responsible for security/control of evidence until the material is released by the court or owner is located. It may sound tough, but Boyd thinks body-worn video
“…Is a great tool for providing evidence to support my case, and disprove allegations and complaints… As a result of using the body camera, we have been successful obtaining felony convictions it would be difficult obtaining otherwise. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.”
The importance of using the cameras is key, and using it in a case or for a report is as high as 95%
“Example: in May of 2014, a suspect was arrested for fleeing and eluding the Police. After the suspect was taken into custody and transported back to the police department for booking, the suspect destroyed and damaged property of the city and threatened to kill the arresting officer and his family. As a result of the camera footage, the arresting officer was able to apply for, and obtain, three felony warrants against the suspect.”
“Example: in April of 2014, an officer arrested three individuals for obstructing and resisting arrest. As a result of the camera footage, the arresting officer was able to support the charges and disprove racial allegations.”
“The screen has its advantages; sometimes, when suspects learn they are being recorded they entertain themselves for the camera. The advantage is the opposite - they learn they are being recorded and they behave better.”
Additionally, having the feature of an articulated camera head is “a good tool for different situations and I use it often.” Continued, “I find this feature (easy one-touch button) to be a plus. When you’re in a split second situation, it just takes one easy step to turn the camera on without interfering or distracting from the task at hand.”
As with many others, Boyd tested other brands for comparison, and found “the lightness and portability” integral to “simple use in operation”.
“(Reveal) has always been very friendly and professional. The department is grateful for being able to test and evaluate the product. The cameras have performed to our expectations and beyond. They have been helpful in the prosecution of crimes within the City of Washington Park.”
When asked whether he would recommend Reveal to others, the answer was prepared –
“I already have.”