The Pros and Cons of Police Dash Cams

All 14 patrol units that roam the streets of Goliad County have dash cameras and each should pick up traffic stops and other police activity, but just like any technology it isn’t safe from malfunction.

“I won’t say it’s rare but it’s very unusual they are built to function under very adverse circumstances,” Pape said.

Dash cams help the Sheriff’s department keep an eye on deputies that may need further training as well as citizens that bring false accusations on an officer.

“We’ve had cases where complaints have been filed against officers and when we review the video we find out that what is being complained about never really happened,” Pape said.

Dash cams are activated when a deputy logs into his unit computer and the footage is downloaded automatically when the unit is within range of the department antenna. The dash cam can take video, camera stills and audio, but there are things it can’t do.

“If you are doing a traffic stop and something happens the subject flees and runs off to the side and runs out into a field you’re not going to pick that up,” Pape said.