Only 7.5 Percent of Orlando Squad Cars Will Have Cameras
Eyewitness testimony is not always available when a person is stopped for a DUI. When the person charged with the DUI appears in court, the arresting officer’s testimony is given more credence than theirs. Without corroborating evidence, such as a video tape of the incident, the charged often faces hefty fines or jail time.
Installing dashboard cameras would seem to be beneficial to both the police and those who have been arrested. A true accounting of the incident would be caught on film, eliminating any personal interpretation of the events from either party.
However, only 3.25 percent of the Orlando police force currently have dashboard cameras. But another 16 vehicles are slated to receive cameras this month, doubling the percentage.
Orlando currently has a police fleet of 450 cars. Only 32 will have these cameras by the end of June. The reason for this is simply money. It would cost $2.5 million to equip all of the remaining cars with the dashboard video system.
The cars that have the cameras, or are currently receiving them, are funded through government grant money. The City of Orlando does not have the money to equip its force with cameras out of their normal operating budget. However, Mayor Buddy Dyer has stated that it is his goal to equip all patrol cars with these devices as soon as possible.
The Florida Highway Patrol already has all of their fleet equipped with dashboard cameras, allowing them to accurately record each and every stop they make. This provides protection to the police officer in the event that the stop starts becoming less routine and more of a handful. It also provides protection to the accused that can use this evidence to prove their innocence in court, especially in times when racial profiling comes into account.