It wasn't too long ago that everyone had to have the newest camcorder, but today's smart phones with built-in video recording have slowed camcorder sales.
The Longview Police Department has put those cameras to good use doing on-the-spot interviews with crime victims and witnesses.
These days nearly all police cars are equipped with cameras mounted on the dash. They have proven invaluable as silent one-eyed witnesses that remember everything correctly.
The Longview Police Department uses them every day, but they also don't hesitate to use a second hand-held camera.
"We're able to get video of the victims at the time which includes injuries and things of that nature, and we also give the suspect the opportunity to tell his story as well. Most of the time the cameras are used for domestic situations however they can used for accidents or any other crime scene," Christie Brian with the Longview Police Department said.
Police also use the cameras while the suspect is read his rights.
"Using the cameras does assist the D.A.'s office when they're prosecuting the cases because they have pictures as well as video right there to help them with the case," Officer Brian stated.
"You know it's something that not only assists the officers and detectives involved in the investigation but also is a device that can be used on down the road to assist the witness to recall what occurred months, sometimes years prior to that," Gregg County District Attorney Carl Dorrough said.
The Gregg County D.A. also adds the video is rarely used in court because cross-examination can't happen.
So, some Longview Officers have become a kind of police videojounalist, although their target audience is quite a bit smaller than most reporters.
Longview Police have been using their second cameras for four or five years now. Officials say it speeds up the investigation process.
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