Narration on Body-Worn Camera Video
Category: Law Enforcement
Gordon Graham here with Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Today’s Tip is for law enforcement.
The next time you’re recording an incident, try audibly describing some of your thoughts, observations and actions.
Today’s tip is for our friends in law enforcement. It deals with narrating on your audio and video recording devices.
More and more officers are using body-worn cameras. Many are still using in-car video systems. Some are carrying audio recorders. Whatever the case, a lot of your actions are probably being recorded in some manner.
While it is not perfect, video can be a terrific tool. There is hardly anything more powerful than a recording of the suspect’s words and actions.
Recordings can also help explain your actions to the public, to juries and to supervisors. And a recording can be used to refresh your memory when you sit down to write a report.
In many incidents, your actions and decisions will be evaluated based on what you knew at the time. This includes everything you are seeing, hearing and even smelling. Sometimes it can also be very helpful to know what you were thinking at the time.
When appropriate, vocalize some of your thoughts, “I think he has a knife in his pocket.” Or “He looks really angry.”
Try narrating some of your actions. “I’m checking the cuffs for tightness and double-locking them.”
You can also narrate your observations, especially those that might not be captured by the camera. “I can smell a strong odor of alcohol.” Or, “I can’t see his hands.”
The next time you’re recording an incident, try audibly describing some of your thoughts, observations and actions. I will be easier to write reports and it will help others better understand the scene.
That’s Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Gordon Graham, signing off.