Fixed-Site and Mobile Video Surveillance
The RAND Law Enforcement Technology Survey (LETS) found that59 percent of local departments and 33 percent of state police de-partments make no use of fixed-site video surveillance cameras.
Only 3 percent of local departments and 7 percent of state police re-ported making widespread use of this technology. None of the ruraldepartments reported making widespread use of it (LETS, 36c).Similarly, the RAND survey found 69 percent of local departmentsand 27 percent of state police departments make no use of mobilevideo surveillance cameras.
Only 1 percent of local departments andno state police departments reported making widespread use of mo-bile video surveillance. None of the rural or urban departmentsserving populations less than 25,000 reported making widespreaduse of this technology.In contrast to these data on the United States, police in the UnitedKingdom make much greater use of fixed-site closed circuit televi-sion (CCTV) surveillance. Throughout the United Kingdom there aremore than 250,000 cameras transmitting images to police. A few U.S.cities have relatively comprehensive fixed-site surveillance coverageof selected areas. For example, Baltimore uses fixed video cameras toscan all 106 downtown intersections, while New York City has a pro-gram for 24-hour remote surveillance in Central Park, subway sta-tions, and other public places (Brin, 1998). When asked to identify whether these technologies were unneces-sary
or if other factors inhibited their acquisition, most police or-______________
For the LETS survey to local police, percentages have been statistically adjusted torepresent the entire population. See Appendix A for a description of the adjustmentmethodology. For the LETS survey to state police and the FTS survey to crime labs,results are reported as unadjusted percentages.
“Mobile video surveillance cameras” are those that might be used in a stakeout orhostage negotiation situation. This category does not include video cameras in patrolcars, which are discussed in Chapter 6.
By selecting “Not Needed” on the survey. It should be noted that there is likely a“high barrier” to an individual indicating that a technology is not needed on a survey of this kind. Given that the introductory material indicated that the survey was in-tended to inform federal policymakers on the needs of local police organizations,there is both an individual and organizational disincentive to indicate that