The Orange County Sheriff's Department in California is giving deputies digital video cameras to film family disturbance calls. The 20 cameras cost $20,000 and will help provide evidence for domestic violence cases. Officials hope the cameras will provide strong evidence of the toll of violence in the home.
Law enforcement agencies are enacting tough approaches to domestic violence, resulting in a 431 percent increase in arrests in the county from 1988 to 1998. Orange County Superior Court Judge Pamela Iles asked Sheriff Mike Carona to conduct research using the video cameras to capture disturbance scenes that would later be employed in court.
The digital cameras hold 30 seconds of footage and have clearer pictures than instant cameras. Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies were among the first to use handheld cameras at crime scenes.
(Los Angeles Times (05/31/00), Leonard, Jack; courtesy NLECTC Law Enforcement & Corrections Technology News Summary.)