skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 200719 Find in a Library
Title: Eyewitness Account: Police Called Into Court Today Have a New Ally, They Can Go to the Tape
Journal: Police: The Law Enforcement Magazine  Volume:27  Issue:5  Dated:May 2003  Pages:32-35
Author(s): Dave Douglas
Date Published: May 2003
Page Count: 4
Type: Legislation/Policy Description
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses the advantages of using in-car video in police cars.
Abstract: In-car video systems in police vehicles monitor the behavior of police officers and have actually proved to be a police officer’s best friend in many unwarranted lawsuits. Countless court cases nationwide have been avoided because defendants and their attorneys were allowed to view in-car video footage as part of the discovery prior to trial. In-car video can be the best witness against a motorist or suspect. Videos of officers being murdered help investigators track down the assailants. Footage of officers searching a trunk with accompanying audio of the prior conversation with the suspect that developed the probable cause has been used to gain admissibility for evidence. Because it can prevent lawsuits and shorten court testimony, the cost savings of using in-car video can be significant. VHS videotape has been the standard for in-car systems for years. If still offers the advantages of ease of use, recording time, and availability of a TV and VCR combination in courtrooms. Another tape-based format that is very popular for in-car video systems is Hi-8. Hi-8 offers better resolution than VHS, meaning that more video and audio information can be put on one tape. The newest technology being offered in law enforcement video is digital recording. One of the best features of digital recording is the pre-event recording, which automatically captures between 25 seconds and 4 minutes of video before the recorder is activated. One problem with many in-car video systems is that they record a very narrow view of the scene, usually directly in front of the car. There are some models that can be adjusted to record a wider view.
Main Term(s): Police equipment; Videotaping arrestees
Index Term(s): Arraignment; Arrest and apprehension; Arrest procedures; Audiovisual aids; Video imaging; Visual communications
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.