Fairfax County Police Issue New Guidelines for In-Car Video

In-car camera/Credit: FCPDThe Fairfax County Police Department has formalized its guidelines for the agency’s in-car video program.

Some 650 police cruisers spread across FCPD’s eight stations are equipped with in-car video, which has proven to be valuable in reviewing what transpired at a traffic stop or crime scene, police spokesman Lucy Caldwell said.

The cameras were phased into most cars between 2013 and 2014, she added. FCPD is going to explore a pilot program with bodycams later this year, she added.

In Fairfax County, there are two cameras on the car: A forward-facing “dashcam” one that shows what is happening in front of the police car and a rear-facing one that shows what is happening if there are prisoners in the back seat. Officers also have a wireless microphone that is synched at the start of their shift.

Footage goes to a DVR mounted in the trunk.

Some of the new guidelines have to do with how long the footage is stored.

According to the department’s General Order 430.8, In-Car Video Program:

Video/audio recordings not required to support known investigations or litigations: retain for 30 days after recording, then delete.

Video/audio not falling into either of the above categories:

  • Traffic Stops: 190 days
  • Arrest: 190 days
  • Use of Force: 1,100 days
  • Pursuit: 190 days
  • Transport: 100 days
  • Investigation: 100 days
  • Subject Stop: 100 days
  • Test/training/other: 100 days
  • Administrative Investigation: Indefinitely

Under the new guidelines, officers are required to activate the cameras at all traffic stops, vehicular pursuits, emergency situations when they are called as backup and prisoner transport.

Photo Courtesy of FCPD

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