Local Law Enforcement: Dash cams keep record

Cpl. Jerry Neufeld with APD said each patrol unit is equipped with a dash cam that is rolling constantly, and records when triggered.

Footage from a Randall County Deputy's dashboard camera captured what a deputy faces while on duty, in this instance a dog charging him, but this incident has caused controversy.

Monday, the Sheriff's Office released the video to Pronews 7, but the video was missing two minutes of audio. According to Sheriff Joel Richardson it's not a malfunction in the equipment, or that the officer forgot to turn on the audio. This is how the system works, and it's a system other law enforcement agencies in our area use.

"When he activates his (the deputy) mic on himself it automatically saves the previous two minutes of video, but there is no audio to go with it," Richardson said.

Richardson said the dashboard camera is constantly rolling, but it only records the video when it's triggered. Cpl. Jerry Neufeld with the Amarillo Police Department said there are multiple things that trigger the camera to start recording including: sirens, lights, and the accelerated speed of an officer's vehicle. The officer can also activate the camera to start recording at any time. Officers and deputies are also equipped with body microphones, which have to be turned on by the officer, and when activated both audio and video will record.

When the camera is activated it also "backs up" the previous 30 seconds to two minutes of only video.

Randall County and APD have no set rule for when officers are expected to turn on their mincrophone. According to Neufeld itâ??s too much data for their system to have it recording constantly.

"We got limited storage space, and the video more times than not is going to tell us what the officer saw," Neufeld said.

However, Potter County Sheriff Brian Thomas said his deputies have a rule in place.

"We want them to have it on at all times," Thomas said. "That's what we push them to do as soon as they get out of their car."

Thomas said his office reviews deputies' video often, and always check to make sure there is audio.

"We keep them for 90 days, and if they don't need to be saved for a particular case we throw them out," Thomas said.