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  • Voice recorders

    Our Hospital administration has recently tasked our department with strictly enforcing new employee parking and smoking policies, this has led to numerous complaints being filed against our officers. Administration of course takes the word of the employee who has violated the policy over that of the officer, and it has led to several officers being reprimanded unjustifiably. So we are now looking at having our officers carry some type of audio recording equipment so that we will have some recourse against unjustified complaints as well as to show administration the verbal abuse that we take on a daily basis. My question is do any of your departments use any type of audio recording equipment to document confrontations? We are looking into this and I'm having trouble finding anyone who produces exactly what I'm looking for. I would like a setup with each officer carrying a wireless mic that records back to our dispatch center. I know that a lot of police departments use something similar that is tied into the video in their cars, but I am having trouble finding anything that does not utilize the video aspect and has separate channels to record multiple officers at once. If anyone is using something similar to what I have in mind please let me know, because I think it would be an invaluable tool for our department in fighting claims of excessive force, harassment, etc.
    Drew Neckar
    Hospital Security Supervisor
    ---------------------------------------------------

    Always forgive your enemies--nothing annoys them so much.
    --Oscar Wilde—

  • #2
    The wireless mic component of a in-car video system is not tied to the unit itself. You need to determine who sells wireless mics and base units. When a video recorder (dash-cam) is put together by a company, all they do is buy the components and integrate them as a VAR.

    A quick google search for "wirless body microphone" came up with several hits.

    One thing it keep in mind is that your officers will most likely be out of range most of the time, due to the interference from structures, range from dispatch center, shielding, etc.

    You may wish to contact a security alarm installer and see if they can develop an integrated plan for campus-wide microphone repeaters (the body mic transmits, the repeater picks it up, and sends it to the dispatch system).
    Some Kind of Commando Leader

    "Every time I see another crazy Florida post, I'm glad I don't work there." ~ Minneapolis Security on Florida Security Law

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    • #3
      Good luck on trying to develop a way to yourself with recorders. I had problems with a employee at work who filed false complaints against several of us in the Security department. I used a pocket recorder to document a coupel of incidents with her and attached the audio as a file to an email complaint I filed with my supervisor. While the problem employee was delt with I was told that the client didn't want any recorders used in the future. The employee's union rep stated that they didn't want employees worrying if the guards were recording them. It could lead to a "hostile workplace".
      My suggestions are to keep it simple. A pocket Mini tape recorder or digital recorder can be carried in a shirt pocket and an officer only has to press the RECORD button before interacting with others. Tapes are cheap and if there is a problem they can be kept to include in a with a report. Digital recorders are good if you want to attach the file as an file to an email. The recorders could also be worn on the belt in a pouch and a microphone clipped to a pocket or collar to pick up conversations.
      If you want to be able to hear the audio live and record it at a dispatch officer try this idea. Purchase cellphones on a company plan. Include a earbud with mike for each phone. Program one number into the speed dial. Make it the number to a speaker phone in your dispatch center. When the officer needs to reocrd something he hits the speed dial and the phone at your dispatch desk rings. You answer. Over the speaker phone you can hear everything the officer and the person he's talking to are saying and a recorder near the phone can document everything. Even better you have a pretty secure way to monitor the officer and even talk to him through the phones' ear bud. This keeps your radio channel free for other traffic.
      Finally, there's the second radio method. Have a channel that is a "Talk" channel. For the cost of a second set of radios you could have the officers carry one radio for routine use and a second just for sending audio of thier 'encounters' to dispatch. By using a mike key lock the officer could lock the mike open and transmit to dispatch on the "Talk" channel radio. At dispatch you have one radio monitoring just that "Talk" channel and the recieving radio is hooked to a recorder or computer running recording software. Heck, even a regular "police scanner" set to the frequency of the "Talk" channel can be used to monitor and send audio to a recorder. Again, this leaves your primary channel clear to talk to your officers even while listening to what's being said during the argument.
      These are just a few ideas off the top of my head. I with you luck on whatever method you choose.
      Hospital Security Officer

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      • #4
        Also make sure you check your applicable laws/statutes for recording devices and cameras. Even some union contracts outright forbid the use of cctv/voice recorders unless area is posted or employee is advised of its use.
        Old age and treachery will defeat youth and enthusiasm every time-

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        • #5
          Originally posted by HospitalOfc.
          ... Administration of course takes the word of the employee who has violated the policy over that of the officer, and it has led to several officers being reprimanded unjustifiably....
          Then don't enforce it. I have experienced similar problems w/ enforcing the employer's policy about wearing PPE. After being corrected for doing my job, I simply looked the other way when violations occurred. The administration can't have it both ways.

          The only other idea is to summon a supervisor when someone is smoking, etc. Don't confront them until you are both present.
          Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

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