Jakarta – Starting next week, the Jakarta Police are set to equip their patrol officers with body cameras.
The new equipment is expected to help police detect and identify criminals faster, as well as discourage bribery, a practice often attempted by traffic violators in their effort to get out of a ticket, according to the Jakarta Police's Electronic Traffic Law Enforcement (ETLE) head, Comr. Arif Fazlurrahman.
"With this technology, traffic police officers could help the Criminal Investigation Department identify criminals or suspects," Arif said.
He explained that if ETLE cameras installed on the roads spotted traffic violators or criminal suspects, an alarm would go off and officers wearing body cameras would be informed about the situation.
"The nearest officers from the site will be requested to follow the vehicle and stop it. The entire process will be livestreamed to a traffic command center," Arif said, adding that the body cameras would automatically show a video feed in real-time right after a command to give pursuit was given to officers.
The videos will then be studied by the National Traffic Management Center and forwarded to the Criminal Investigation Department, which will ascertain further details about the suspects' identity.
Arif said the network the Jakarta Police used to livestream the pursuit would be made resilient from hacking attempts.
The body cameras will be able to record in 32-megapixel resolution and contain 20 hours of footage in high definition (HD) as they will be equipped with 32-gigabyte memory cards. However, the equipment can only record a livestream for eight hours non-stop.
Sixteen cameras, each costing Rp Rp 13 million (US$930) to Rp 15 million, will be distributed to traffic police officers next week but the Jakarta Police are aiming to operate 100 body cams by early 2020.Arif said the cameras would be able to record videos clearly even at night.
"The cameras are equipped with infrared technology, so they could record clearly even at night. We've tried the cameras at night and the videos produced are crystal clear," Arif said.
He added that the camera quality and specification used by the Jakarta Police would almost be the same as those used by police officers in countries like the United Kingdom and the United States.
Traffic officers can also use their body cameras to communicate with their counterparts in the traffic command center.
"The body cameras are also equipped with panic buttons and GPS trackers. So, if officers stumbled upon an emergency situation, they could press the panic buttons and an alarm in command center the Traffic Management Center will go off and we would know exactly the officers' coordinates through the GPS," Arif said.
Another feature of the body cameras is that they cannot be turned off by officers on the field.
"The cameras can only be turned on and off remotely from the Jakarta Police, so officers in the field won't be able to turn them off. This is to prevent them from doing something against the law," Arif said.
Besides discouraging bribery, Arif said the cameras are also aimed at preventing officers from abusing their authority as well as to record violators who retaliate against traffic police officers.
"The cameras can also record traffic police officers' performance in the field," he added (nal)