16.090 – In-Car Video System
Effective Date: 11/21/2012
16.090-POL-1 Using the In-Car Video System
This policy applies to all sworn employees who operate vehicles with In-Car Video (ICV) systems (including Patrol, Traffic, Gang Unit, Canine, SWAT, etc.).
1. All Sworn Employees Operating ICV-Equipped Vehicles Must Be Trained
This includes officers, detectives, sergeants, and lieutenants who operate vehicles equipped with ICV systems.
2. All Sworn Employees Operating ICV-Equipped Vehicles Must Be In Uniform and Wear a Portable Microphone -See RCW 9.73.090(1)(c)
Exception: Field Training Officers in plainclothes need not wear a portable microphone.
3. Employees Will Perform a System Check -See 16.090-TSK-1 and TSK-2
At the start of a shift, employees will check to ensure that the ICV is working properly. If at any point during the shift the system malfunctions
- Notify a sergeant, and
- Note on the MDC/CAD log
4. Employees Will Record Enforcement-Related Activity Which Occurs Within Camera Range
Employees will activate the ICV to record enforcement-related activity, unless doing so would jeopardize officer or public safety.
Enforcement-related activity includes (but is not limited to) the following:
Onview criminal activity
5. Employees Shall Notify Persons of Recording
Employees shall notify others that they are being recorded as soon as practical.
6. Employees Shall Not Intentionally Record Persons Who Are Lawfully Exercising a Constitutional Right or Civil Liberty
Particular attention should be paid to SMC 14.12.010, 14.12.020.A, and 14.12.030.K, which prohibit employees from intentionally recording people who are lawfully exercising their freedom of speech, press, association, assembly, religion, or the right to petition the government for redress of grievances.
Exception: Employees may record if there is reasonable suspicion to believe that criminal activity has occurred or will occur (SMC 14.12.010).
Exception: Protected activity which is unintentionally captured while enforcement-related activity is being recorded is not a violation of this policy (SMC 14.12.080).
7. Video and Audio Must Operate at the Same Time
The audio recording must operate simultaneously with the video camera when the ICV system has been activated to record an event, even if the event itself is no longer within view of the camera.
Certain conversations need not be recorded:
- Conversations with Confidential Informants, and
- Conferring with fellow employees or sergeants for strategic or tactical purposes, or personal conversations
8. Once Activated, Officers Shall Not Deactivate the ICV System Until the Event Has Concluded
9. Employees Will Document That an Event Was Recorded
To document that an event has been captured on an ICV system, employees will do the following:
Employees who are not logged to a call or event but capture video of the event will log to the call and note that the event was recorded in an update on the MDC.
- Note that the event was recorded in an update on the MDC, and
- If an employee completes a GO report, Street Check, Notice of Infraction, criminal citation, and/or Traffic Contact Report (TCR), note in the report that the event was recorded by the ICV system.
10. Employees Shall Flag Videos of Certain Events
If any of the following events are captured on an employee’s ICV system, the employee shall flag the video:
- Onview criminal activity
- Prisoner transports
- Collisions involving police vehicles
- Uses of force
- Any other video the officer believes should be flagged
11. Employees Shall Upload Recorded Video Before Going Out of Service
If the upload is not completed before the end of shift, employees will notify a sergeant.
16.090-POL-2 Reviewing In-Car Video
This policy applies to all employees—non-sworn and sworn—who review in-car video (ICV).
1. Recorded Video May Be Viewed For Appropriate Purposes Only
Video recorded by an ICV system may be viewed for the following purposes:
- Criminal investigation
- Officer-involved collision/Collision Review Board
- Firearms Review Board
- Public Disclosure Request
- Use-of-force review/investigation
- Performance appraisal
- As part of an Early Intervention System (EIS) plan for a specific officer
Users Shall Note the Purpose for Viewing Video in the “Notes” Field (Located Under the “Data Entry” Icon) in the COBAN Viewer Application
The system automatically logs the identity of the user who accesses a particular video, as well as the date and time of access. The user must manually enter the purpose for viewing the video in the “Notes” field.
3. Recorded Video Shall Not Be Used for Training Purposes Without Permission of the Involved Employee
4. Employees Shall Not Make Copies of Recorded Video for Personal Use
16.090-TSK-1 Operating the In-Car Video System
When operating a vehicle equipped with an In-Car Video (ICV) system, an employee:
1. Checks the system to ensure it is functioning properly
2. Notifies sergeant of malfunctions -See 16.090-TSK-2
a. Moves to a vehicle with a functioning ICV system, if one is available. If not,
b. With a sergeant's permission, uses a vehicle without a functioning ICV system and notes on the MDC/CAD log that the ICV system is not functioning and the name of the screening sergeant
3. Synchronizes the microphone with the system
4. Positions camera to capture the event
5. Records activity as specified by 16.090-POL
6. Documents that an event was recorded
7. Flags video as specified by 16.090-POL
8. Uploads video prior to going out of service
a. Notifies sergeant if upload not completed
16.090-TSK-2 Responding to a Malfunction of the In-Car Video System
After receiving a report that an In-Car Video (ICV) system has malfunctioned, a sergeant:
1. Arranges for the affected employee to switch to a vehicle with a functioning ICV system, if one is available.
a. If there are no vehicles with a functioning ICV system, approves the employee’s use of a vehicle without a functioning ICV system.
2. Flags the vehicle with the malfunctioning ICV system as “out-of-service”.
3. Requests repair of the malfunctioning system by SPD ITS.