During the last 23 years the in-car camera video systems have served an important role to police departments.
The main reason police car camera systems are used is to give the law enforcement agencies the upper hand in recording video evidence. The auto record triggers have made it possible for police chiefs and Sheriffs to carry out in-car video policies even when not on-scene. The Police in-car systems have some major technological advantages over the officer portable body cameras.
The combining of the police cars with an in-car video camera system make both the perfect video tool against false complaints.
Taking into account of the cars platform has allowed to use the reliable electrical systems that are now present in the police pursuit vehicle. The batteries in the cars are very stable for running continuously 24 hours a day. Rugged police in-car video recording need a constant battery feed. There is no limit to how long the battery can run in a car since its has the alternator, gas engine connected to it. This allows the police in-car video system to record continuously. This key feature allows the event to be captured before the police officer to activates a trigger to start the recording. The definition of this feature is called pre-event (pre-alarm) recording and allows the police car camera system to capture digital video evidence up to 2 minute before the officer triggers the record touch screen button. The pre-event recording is not really a readily available feature on body cameras, since the battery life is so limited on these systems. Some police in-car cameras now offer post-event recording which shows what the officer did after he shut down the cops camera, the police camera will still record an extra 5 to 12 minutes, documenting the after incidents of an interaction.
Some manufacturers of in-car video camera systems have moved onto recording all the time in a loop.
When a car camera is recording pre-event and post event, the system is capturing video continuously in a loop. The loop can be extended to say a month or a year while the another stream is recording just the triggered events by the activators. This record on all the time allows days of video to be searched even if the officer didn't hit the record button. The solid-state police dash cameras storage devices have increased so much that a in-car camera now can record a year straight without ever stopping. Next is an architecture designed feature called dual drive recording for some police in-car systems which allows stereo writing of the video to 2 separate drives. This dual drive recording seems to be more cost than most departments want to pay for.
Since this record after the incident is only on police in-car systems at this point, and probably will never work on inferior body cameras.
The Police body-worn camera systems have limited small battery life. The body-worn cameras have a number or limitations but none as great as physical size or officer controlled entirely. Getting all the super user features that the in-car cameras have had built into them is going to be a engineering impossibility for body-cameras.
The body camera technology may never catch up to the in-car video cameras.