Georgia State Patrol Cars Improves Safety with 500+ In-Car Video Systems
In-car police video systems are everywhere these days, but that wasn't always the case. Mike Yearty — systems specialists for the Fayetteville, Georgia, police department — was a pioneer of in-car video systems. He's installed around 3,000 of them across the country since the late 80s. Yearty remembers the incident he thinks started the in-car video revolution.
"I was working for an electronics company back in 1988, and we provided video training systems for the Georgia State Patrol," says Yearty. "A patrolman was picking up training equipment and jokingly asked if I could install a video camera in his patrol car. We jerry-rigged a system using a bungee strap to secure a bulky camera to the glove box and added a wireless microphone.
"Within two weeks, at a routine traffic stop, the same officer ended up having to shoot a passenger (who survived) who would not take his hands off a gun. At trial, the D.A. claimed he was unarmed and never warned before he was shot. But the video showed the defendant was told numerous times to take his hands off the weapon."
The Georgia State Patrol immediately recognized the value and over the next few months, Yearty helped equip about 500 Georgia patrol cars. Word spread across the country and Yearty's company suddenly had more business than it could handle.
Today, most law-enforcement organizations have adopted incar video systems. They help protect the safety of the officers and the rights of suspects. And, in-car video serves to provide virtually indisputable evidence in court — often securing pleas before cases go to trial.
"The last few years, we've been replacing our old VCR-based systems." explains Yearty. "Several companies gave me estimates, but their costs were too steep. I decided to buy the camera, audio and DVR directly from Supercircuits. This way, I save a lot of money and can custom design the system myself."
Supercircuits agreed to replace the VCR in its Portable Police In-Car System (item # ICVS-1) with a DVR. Yearty added special features. He designed relay circuitry that automatically activates the system whenever the patrol car's blue lights are turned on. The camera zooms in for a few seconds on the license plate area of the vehicle -- triggered when the officer opens his door at a traffic stop. For power, he hard-wired the Supercircuits equipment into the car's electrical system.
Yearty says that his video evidence has been used in numerous prosecutions. "Attorneys and judges often want copies of the stops. We use the evidence in cases like DUIs, stores selling alcohol to minors and proving that an arrestee's rights were read."
It's no surprise that a pioneer of in-car police video systems relies on Supercircuits to provide key components. "I've had good luck with Supercircuits equipment. The quality is there, the selection is great and the prices are outstanding. I can do a lot more with my budget when I buy from Supercircuits."
Yearty says that customer service ultimately determines which vendors he uses. "I do business with Supercircuits above all because of their customer service. They're very flexible and easy to work with. Their warranties are good."
The ultimate compliment Yearty can pay to Supercircuits? "I've had several police departments call me for references when they're looking for a video-security vendor. I recommend Supercircuits."