PDs sometimes have the choice of defending their officers against false accusations of coerced confessions or force and when they don’t have proof of what it was that they said, an endless game of he-said-she-said ensues.
The burden of proof in these cases is really on the prosecution and if they cannot find a way to disprove the defendant’s claims (misconduct, forced confessions, etc), agencies can be left in a lurch to not only uphold their own reputation but the reputation of their force. But you’re not alone if you’re facing this situation.
In fact, police departments all over the country are moving in large numbers to digitally recording all interaction with suspects so that when a case comes to court, there is no question about what was said and by whom. With this key evidence in hand, cases can be handled more quickly, the burden of proof problem is met, and neither the jury nor the judge have to sift through tedious he-said-she-said debates.
The trends in recording and the impact of now-available digital technology over the last decade and a half have only made the case for recording stronger. Consider the following results from FortheRecord Market Research on what users, buyers and well-respected authorities have had to say about current business and operating procedures and recording custodial interrogations. This information can be found in the Officer.com article Trends in Recording Police Interviews.
- Poor recording quality offered by analog recorders deteriorates over time.
- Declining availability and serviceability of analog units.
- Analog tapes are cumbersome to search and store.
- Problems with flexibility and portability. Detectives are forced to review interview recordings at a particular location, which may be in use, rather than at their desks.
- Use of video recorders typically requires additional, separate audio cassette recordings for transcription purposes.
- Digital solutions are just as easy to operate, while offering greater benefits and cheaper storage options.
- It is easier and more efficient to distribute recordings within and outside the investigation team.
- Digital opens the door for streamlining and automating existing legal processes
If your PD is still using analog tapes or even if you adopted a digital platform but haven’t updated in a few years, there is plenty of room for improvement.
PDs all over the country are both voluntarily and by law turning to recording solutions to reduce the time it takes to bring a case to close in court as well as to keep the innocent free. iRecord offers state-of-the-art digital audio and video recording equipment that features a one-touch operational function that someone with little experience with technology could operate.
We’d love to share all of the benefits that the recording solution can deliver your police department and just how to get set up. Whether this is a 2015 or 2016 goal, let’s get the conversation started today! Contact us today to get started.