At a time when critics want better oversight of police departments in the United States, the Palo Alto PD has a new video technology solution being used in squad cars. Each car uses five cameras, able to provide an enhanced 270-degree field of view of the car's surroundings. The system is operated via touchscreen, so officers have access to the cameras: one points forward, two side cameras show coverage of blind spots, a rear-facing camera, and one prisoner camera.
Officers are able to scan through up to 40 hours of recorded video data - and could lead to a drop in public complaints towards officers.
"We hire people for character and we want them to have character and to treat people with dignity and respect," said Dennis Burns, The chief of police in Palo Alto, in a statement to CBS News. "And this really should be kind of secondary to everything else. It's just another tool that we have to show that we are doing the right thing."