After experiencing several problems with students, teachers and other community members complaining about local law enforcement officers, the University of Iowa in Iowa City decided to experiment. Now, the UI police force is equipped with miniature video surveillance cameras that can be clipped to their uniforms, according to a report by local newspaper, The Gazette.
“The video gives an unbiased view from an officer’s perspective,” UI police officer Alton Poole said.
The surveillance cameras are roughly the size of a pager and can be turned on and off by sliding the lens cover. Now each of the 45 police officers and 18 security personnel in charge of monitoring the school grounds have been equipped with a device, which cost the school roughly $899 each, The Gazette reported.
“We believe they have paid for themselves in reducing court time for officers because of the great evidence they provide as well as greatly reducing administrative investigative time and cost when dealing with officer complaints,” said David Visin, associate director of the police department, according to The Gazette.
There are multiple benefits associated with using the advanced surveillance cameras, including the reduced need for testifying authorities to go into great length regarding an incident, as the footage should speak for itself, according to the news source. The devices also tend to improve people’s behavior, especially if they know they are being recorded.
The device also acts as a safety net for both citizens and local law enforcement authorities, as the monitoring of footage helps educate fellow officers on certain occurrences taking place on campus.
“I have more confidence going into the field now,” Poole said, according to The Gazette. “If I say this had occurred, I have something to back me up.”
Innovation sparks change in the surveillance industry
A separate report by IMS Research noted that the surveillance industry is undergoing significant changes, allowing all types of organizations to leverage innovative solutions capable of enhancing security and providing less biased information for courtroom appearances. Mobile surveillance cameras, in particular, are gaining significant momentum, as more decision-makers demand access and point of view perspectives at any time.
Another major benefit of using mobile surveillance cameras is the ability to reduce liabilities concerns, which is driving the need for the solutions in public facilities, such as higher education and transportation agencies, according to a report by Frost & Sullivan.
“The ability of these solutions to improve operational efficiency apart from providing safety and security will ensure a steady stream of investments in the market,” Frost & Sullivan said.
As the surveillance market continues to evolve, higher educational facilities and other organizations will likely deploy more advanced solutions to improve security and reduce liability complications. In many cases, next-generation tools will keep individuals safe, reduce crime rates and simultaneously disregard any false accusations in court made by individuals trying to get out of trouble.