Thanks to cell phones and technology improvements, recording video is easier than ever – and local police say it’s having a big impact on how they do their jobs.
“I’m certainly not suggesting that we all be our brothers keepers and shove cell phones in everyone’s face in the middle of the day,” attorney Justin McShane said. “But I will tell you that in my car downstairs, I have a dash camera.”
McShane tells abc27 the camera only cost about 50 dollars, but he believes the benefits are priceless.
“There are a lot of good police officers out there, no doubt about it,” McShane said. “But there are also a few bad apples. And we need to videotape to prove that they’re bad apples and they don’t belong in public service.”
The practice of recording video of police incidents isn’t new, but now it is more common. Although it has the ability to capture police doing wrong, McShane says more often it helps officers.
“In this modern day and age, it keeps everyone honest and that’s a good thing,” McShane said. “It solves a lot of issues over he-said-she-said because now we have the video.”
Carlisle police say they now expect to be recorded in most situations. Chief Stephen Margeson tells abc27 he’s even looking for more recordings, like police cameras and the ones already on the streets of Carlisle.
“I don’t think that we in law enforcement should be afraid of or shy away from this whole video explosion,” Chief Margeson said. “It’s a fact of life.”
But Margeson cautions against solely relying on video for evidence.
“That’s just one perspective, one view of an incident, of a police-citizen encounter,” Chief Margeson said. “And it still requires good old-fashioned police work.”
Police say the law permits people to record video in public places; however, interfering with a police investigation or arrest could lead to charges.