ORLANDO, Fla. – Students spoke, UCF PD listened.
UCF Police Chief Carl Metzger said the black caucus of the student senate asked the police department to extend its pre-recording buffer on all police body-worn cameras.
“They mentioned they would like to have the buffer go from 30 seconds to 60 Seconds,” Metzger said. “What that means is the camera when it’s turned on its running and recording in the background all the time, but it records over itself so it only goes back 30 seconds. Or at least it did.”
Metzger said he agreed to the request after checking and discovering the pre-recording buffer can be changed from 30 to 60 seconds.
“To store that extra piece of data is definitely worth it,” Metzger said. “They asked for it and we want to be accountable to them.”
Body cameras record all the time so as to capture the seconds before the cameras are actually activated. But the pre-recorded seconds are only stored when the cameras are activated - by drawing a gun from a holster, drawing a taser from a holster, turning on emergency patrol car lights, or pushing the activation button on the cameras.
“I think the concern was that they felt we might miss something,” Metzger said. “That critical piece of information leading up to the incident might be missing.”
Body cameras have been instrumental in showing the public what officers see when they’re forced to make split-second decisions, Metzger said. And capturing the seconds before is just as important in understanding or double-checking the decision-making, as has been the case in incidents around the country over the last few months.