How Do Police Dashboard Cameras Work


The dashboard camera is among the most useful tools police officers have in their arsenal and use on their official vehicles. Dashboard cameras can back up an officer’s account of the events during arrests and protect them against unfounded lawsuits. If you are wondering how do police dashboard cameras work, read on below as I will go over the info. 

In the past decade, almost all police departments across the US have integrated the use of dashboards and body cameras for their officers. Moreover, technology has also advanced, so now the cameras used by police officers are digitized and automatically download footage and save it. 

How Do Police Dashboard Cameras Work

How Do Police Dashboard Cameras Work

Police dashboard cameras record the police officer’s work day, collect the footage, and upload it to police servers. The dashboard camera has a trigger for record activation when the police officer activates their emergency light bar and siren. 

The Inner Workings of Police Dashboard Cameras 

Police dashboard cameras are so useful in police work that by 2016, according to a report, 69% of general-purpose law enforcement agencies had dashboard cameras in official police vehicles. 

Police dashboard cameras function similarly to other cameras in that they can record everything in front of or behind the car while simultaneously saving the video to the camera’s storage device.

Some police dashboard cameras can even automatically send the information to a server online. However, police dashboard cameras do not operate the same way as radar or speed guns, which can instantly record a moving vehicle’s speed. Instead, they use different techniques to record how fast a vehicle moves.

Dashboard cameras typically use GPS to determine how quickly a vehicle travels, unlike speed or radar guns. This is typically done when a police car has been pursuing a potential speed limit violation for a predetermined amount of time.

As a result, the dash cam could determine the car’s speed based on the distance it traveled and the required time. It provides a fairly accurate picture of the speed of the potential violator, preventing the police from relying on opinion to show that the violator was above the speed limit. 

Why Are Police Dashboard Cameras Useful? 

Law enforcement agencies often use dashboard cameras in police vehicles for driver training and video evidence. Dashboard video evidence helps protect the arresting officer and the offender during an arrest. 

It protects them by providing an accurate account of the events during the police call. Furthermore, dashboard cameras allow police officers to provide better law enforcement services to their communities. 

Read more: What Dash Cam Do the Police Use?

The Abilities of Police Dashboard Cameras

The Abilities of Police Dashboard Cameras 


Police car cameras can be activated based on triggers programmed into them because they are hardwired into a vehicle’s electrical systems. A police car camera, for instance, might begin filming the event once a police officer activates their emergency lights and siren. 

This qualifies as a trigger since it causes the camera system to activate and start recording. However, not all dash cameras operate in that way. In many cases, an officer still needs to manually switch on the camera because a trigger might not always be able to do so.

Unbiased report 

A body camera is useful since it captures a police officer’s perspective. But with that in mind, it means that unless other officers are present, it is impossible to see what an officer is doing.

This is when the audio from the police car is useful. Paying attention to the video a dashboard camera records is critical to get a completely unbiased view of what transpired during a specific incident. These cameras offer automatic digital evidence gathering, better defending police officers in 


Most police car cameras are so fully integrated with the vehicle that they are battery-free. This suggests that a police car camera should ideally record continuously to provide updates and proof of any circumstances. 

Even some cameras are programmed to activate as soon as a car starts, ensuring that every incident inside and outside the automobile is recorded, regardless of whether someone remembers to turn on a camera.

Also read: Does Police Want Dashcam Footage?


So, when wondering how do police dashboard cameras work, it is important to know that they are automatically activated and collect footage of the officers’ calls during their shifts. This protects the police officers in court with the defendants as the dashboard offers an unbiased report.