Why Body Cameras Are Ineffective for Interview Evidence

The general consensus for video evidence is becoming clearer and clearer: Body cameras are useful, but relying on them alone isn’t the answer. To gather all of the necessary information for the court, agencies know that they need a consistent, reliable, and complete process for recording their interview evidence.

Body Camera Misconceptions and Shortfalls

Even the best and most well-intentioned public safety professionals can find it difficult to use their body cameras correctly. And there are unfortunately too many risk factors involved when we direct all of our focus to body cameras. Human error can often get in the way when officers are in the field.

According to a study by the Police Executive Research Forum, only 1 percent of agencies even have policies in place that require body cameras to be turned on for the duration of an officer’s shift. Whenever body camera footage does exist, though, it’s obviously a crucial component of the court’s ruling. Yet in terms of actual interview evidence, our justice system is designed to benefit more from audio video recording solutions that are more robust.

Audio Video Evidence in the Pursuit of Justice

We all know that reliable evidence is crucial for the court to reach a decision. If we’re missing any facts, then that leaves a lot of room for questions, doubts, and even errors. We need to get to the truth with evidence from witnesses, victims, and even the suspects themselves. If that evidence isn’t recorded correctly, then it becomes much harder to keep our communities safe.

It’s safe to say that interview evidence can make or break a case. Whether detectives are speaking with a suspect, witness, or victim, those conversations often provide information to the court that is more than just mere words. Analyzing body language can be an interesting component of audio video evidence. Body cameras simply aren’t designed to record and provide those details.

True Compliance with Interview Recordings

There are obviously benefits to using body cameras and having those recordings available for review. But a formal interview recording process is still the most reliable for collecting accurate and high-quality recordings. This typically works best in an onsite interview recording room. However, that doesn’t mean that remote interviews aren’t possible. They just shouldn’t be done with body cameras.

Clear audio is crucial for interview evidence, and so the conversations need to be conducted in an environment that isn’t distracting. Fortunately, remote recording solutions with computer tablets give officers and public safety professionals the flexibility to sit down with their interview subjects and easily start and stop the recording all from that handheld device. Since there isn’t any bulky equipment, these conversations can happen in a patrol car or even in a quiet public setting. Gathering evidence this way is more natural for everyone involved because lends itself to a real dialogue for the court to reference.

Whether you’re looking to improve your interview evidence recordings onsite or in a remote setting, know that iRecord is here to help. Our solutions can be adapted to fit however your team works best. They can also be a great complement to any systems you might already have in place with body cameras. To learn more, please don’t hesitate to send us a message. We’d be happy to continue the conversation.

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