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HomeMy WebLinkAbout0040 - MOBILE VIDEO RECORDING EQUIPMENTRed Wing Police Department Policy SUBJECT: POLICY NUMBER W MOBILE VIDEO RECORDING EQUIPMENT 40 Oxr, EFFECTIVE DATE May 23, 2008 REFERENCE(S): APPROVED BY: Minnesota CHIEF ROGER D. POHLMAN PURPOSE: The purpose of this policy is to provide officers with guidelines for the use of mobile video with audio recording equipment, as well as the use and storage of all digital recordings used. Mobile video recording (MVR) equipment has been demonstrated to be of value in the prosecution of traffic violations and related offenses, in evaluation of officer performance, as well as in training. In order to maximize the utility of this equipment in these and related areas, officers shall follow the procedures for MVR equipment use as set forth in this policy. OBJECTIVES: This agency has adopted the use of in -car video/audio recording systems in order to accomplish several objectives, including: 1. Accurate documentation of events, actions, conditions and statements made during arrests and critical incidents, so as to enhance officer reports, collection of evidence and testimony in court; and 2. The enhancement of this agency's ability to review probable cause for arrest, arrest procedures, officer and suspect interaction, and evidence for investigative purposes, as well as for officer evaluation and training. 1. OPERATING PROCEDURES Officers shall adhere to the following procedures when utilizing MVR equipment. A. MVR equipment installed in vehicles is the responsibility of the officer assigned to that vehicle or the officer driving that vehicle. B. Prior to each shift, officers shall determine whether their MVR equipment is working satisfactorily and shall bring any problems, at this or other times, to the attention of their immediate supervisor as soon as possible. C. MVR equipment will automatically activate when the vehicle's emergency warning devices are in operation. Page 1 of 5 MOBILE VIDEO RECORDING EQUIPMENT -POLICY 40 1. Once recording begins of an incident, the recording shall continue until the incident has been concluded. 2. All cameras installed a) Automatically activated during every traffic stop. b) Contain an audio feature. C) Designed and installed so as to record the stop in its entirety. 3. These cameras may not be equipped with manual shut-off switches, and must be activated for the entirety of a traffic stop. 4. Officers will not stop recording for anyone, except at the direction of a supervisor. D. Where possible, officers should ensure that equipment is operating in order to record traffic stops or other enforcement actions. In so doing, they will ensure that: 1. The video recorder is positioned and adjusted to record events. 2. The MVR is not deactivated until the enforcement action is completed. 3. Their wireless microphone is activated in order to provide narration with the video recording to explain the reason for their current or planned enforcement action. E. Where possible, officers shall also use their MVR equipment to record: 1. The actions of suspects when undergoing sobriety checks or when placed in custody, if the recording would prove useful in later judicial proceedings. 2. The circumstances at crime and accident scenes or other events, such as the confiscation and documentation of evidence or contraband. 3. All traffic stops (to include but not limited to traffic violations, stranded motorist assistance, etc.) 4. All vehicle pursuits. 5. Prisoner transports 6. While operating the squad car as an emergency vehicle (red lights and/or siren. 7. Any incident or event the officer through his/her training and experience believes should be audibly and visually recorded. 2. DIGITAL CAMERA SYSTEM A. General Use of Digital Recording Equipment: Patrol Officers are issued a USB thumb drive. This thumb drive is to be used with the digital camera system for logging in and assigning the officer's Page 2 of 5 MOBILE VIDEO RECORDING EQUIPMENT -POLICY 40 badge number to videos being recorded by officers assigned to the patrol vehicle. 1. The USB port is located in the middle of the dash. Officers should insert USB thumb drive into the port with light facing up, press the Trace Button on the Digital Video Recorder DVD or the overhead screen, then press the FF button to highlight OK, finishing by pressing the record button. 2. If the previous officer did not sign out, the above process will sign them out. If this occurs, the officer will need to follow the above steps again to sign in. Officers will know they are signed in when their badge number appears in the upper right corner of the camera. Officers need to sign out at the end of their shift to ensure videos, which are not theirs, are not inadvertently assigned to their account. If officers forget to sign in, they must let their Supervisor know, so the video can be re -assigned to the proper officer. B. Digital Video Storage: Recordings on the digital video system will be categorized by the recording officer in one of five categories. Prior to ending the video, officers need to assign a Priority Level to the video. Failure to do so will result in the video being defaulted to No Citation/No Save. This is done by hitting stop on the camera. Next, you will briefly have the opportunity to set the video priority level. The selected level will appear on the monitor. Press the stop button again to advance to the next priority level. If you pass your desired level, continue to press the stop button and it will again scroll through the options. 1. Officers will save recordings as: • No Citation/No Save • Citation • DWI • Arrest (physical arrest) • Other (serious incident or incident officer believes should be saved for evidentiary value or information purposes.) 2. Recordings categorized as "No Citation/No Save" will be accessible for at least 60 days from the date of ingest into the system. They will not be backed up and will be deleted from the server when server space is needed and not be retrievable. Citation categories will be accessible for at least 90 days from the date of ingest into the system and will be archived to DVD. All other recording priorities will be accessible for at least 150 days from the date of ingest. Those recordings will also be archived to DVD and will be retrievable for five years. 3. Digital video recordings are automatically uploaded onto the server when the vehicle is in range of an appropriate access site. If the wireless upload fails, a Supervisor is to be notified so the media card can be manually uploaded. Page 3 of 5 MOBILE VIDEO RECORDING EQUIPMENT -POLICY 40 C Documentation: 1. Whenever a squad video recording is to be used as evidence, it shall be documented in the arrest or offense report. 2. This documentation will be in the narrative of the report. D. Cases: Cases can be created within the digital video system to: • provide more information regarding the incident • add notations which are searchable data • add digital documentation to the incident • combine recordings from multiple cars • create DVDs containing the pertinent information on an incident 1 Cases must be created when: • The priority level is DWI or higher • Squad involved accident • Vehicle pursuit • Gross misdemeanor and felony level arrests. 2 Cases can be created whenever the officer feels that there may be a need for one. Primarily the need is determined by the likelihood of the incident resulting in court proceedings. Cases can also be created to assist in the documentation of complaints against officers. 3. Cases will be numbered using the standard of a two digit year, a "dash" (-) and the case number. For example, 08-1234. 4. The Edit Case Details screen should be completed with as much information as is available. The Display Name and Case Number are the same and the case number should only be entered in the Display Name (leave case number field blank). Notations which apply to the incident will also be checked. In a situation where the officer is assisting another agency and we have no case number for the recording, the Display name can be marked as "Interagency" adding the date and agency name. For example, "Interagency Goodhue County Sheriff's Office 11-20-08" E. Duplication of Digital Recordings: The original recording will remain in the custody of the Red Wing Police Department RWPD on the digital video server until it is purged by definition. All archived DVD's will remain in the RWPD Evidence Room until they are disposed of. 1. Anytime a member of the prosecution or judiciary requires copy of a case DVD it shall be provided at no charge. The prosecuting attorney's office will routinely request the case DVD directly from the Evidence Technician. 2 Requests for duplication of recordings from other public and private concerns shall be provided in accordance with the data practices policy. Page 4 of 5 MOBILE VIDEO RECORDING EQUIPMENT -POLICY 40 3 All DVD copies will be made in the RWPD Evidence Room. A secure chain of custody will be maintained. 4 It is a violation of Red Wing Police Department policy to sell barter, trade or otherwise offer video recordings to be used for entertainment purposes to any entity. Digital recordings recorded by RWPD officers while on duty are the property of the RWPD. Written permission from the Chief or his designee is required if an employee wishes to use a video for unofficial purposes. 5. No video recordings shall be duplicated/sold or given to any media group or television program without written approval of the Chief of Police. 6. Any video recordings to be duplicated and released to defense attorneys or insurance persons shall be handled through the police administrative staff. All data privacy rules and procedures will be followed. The department's billing procedures will be followed for any copies made that are released. 3. SUPERVISORY RESPONSIBILITIES: Supervisory personnel who manage officers equipped with MVR equipment shall ensure that: A. All officers follow established procedures for the use and maintenance of MVR equipment, handling of video/audio recordings and the completion of MVR documentation. B. Repairs and replacement of damaged or non-functional MVR equipment is performed. C. It shall be the responsibility of every supervisor to conduct periodic review of the videos their officers create. The purpose of this review includes but is not limited to: • Periodic assessment of officer performance • To ensure the equipment is functioning properly • To determine if the equipment is being operated properly • To identify material that may be appropriate for training D. Minor infractions (not criminal in nature) discovered during the routine review of recorded material should be viewed as training opportunities and not as disciplinary actions, however, a Coaching Form may be created, if appropriate, documenting the incident. Should the behavior or action become habitual after being addressed, the appropriate disciplinary or corrective action will be taken. Page 5 of 5 MOBILE VIDEO RECORDING EQUIPMENT -POLICY 40