If you are a private investigator and do not already own a Dashboard Cam, this article is for you. These interesting gadgets have been on the market and used in other countries for years now. I think half of all viral YouTube videos are of bad foreign drivers doing dumb things or crashing out their vehicles on roads where obviously the rules of the road don’t apply. At least not to them.
In the wild wild west world of surveillance, it’s never a bad idea to equip your surveillance vehicle with an onboard dash cam. Dash cams mount directly to your vehicle’s windshield or rearview mirror and can be one of the most crucial bits of technology that you own. In today’s he said/she said environment, a dash cam can provide you with valuable after the fact images or video.
Easily mounted to your windshield, most dash cams that I have reviewed supply a long power cord that can be run along your headliner, down the modeling covering your windshield post and then behind your dash ultimately being powered by your cigarette lighter car charger. Another nice feature is that these units can be moved from your primary surveillance vehicle to your backup with minimum effort.
While on surveillance, you never know when you may want to record a scene that plays out in front of your vehicle. Dash cams continuously record video so that you don’t have to. Whether for safety, liability protection or just capturing on-the-road spectacles, a dash cam can act as a second set of eyes. During surveillance, I can’t tell you how many times that I have tried to write down a license plate number or vehicle description while buzzing through busy city streets. A dash cam does the work for you. Once stopped or back at the office, the video can be easily reviewed so that you can record important information that occurred while running your mobile surveillance.
Information obtained from a dash cam can include video of what actually transpired during an active mobile surveillance case. Important information such as date & timestamps for events, landmarks and street signs, license plate information, vehicle descriptions and in some cases, critical accident information. Through my years, I have even experienced a person of interest exiting their vehicle at a stop light to provide an investigator some choice words. With a dash cam running, all of this information can be captured and used for research, evidence or even in a court of law when necessary.
There are many different types and shapes available for purchase. The range of options include GPS navigation, safety alerts, automatic video locking, crash detection, audio (on or off) and mobile app integration. Some units also are equipment with a back glass camera that also records continuously. Most current models are equipment with 1080p video resolution and even work well in dim light or at night. Some of the more popular units include the Garmin DriveAssist 50LMT, Cobra CDR 855 BT, Owl Car Cam, Insignia and Rexing V1.
I wouldn’t want to perform a mobile surveillance case these days without a dash cam. They provide a peace of mind knowing that what happens in front of you is being recorded – the good, bad and the ugly. At the end of the day, you might capture the next video that is set to go viral on YouTube.
Andy Adams is a licensed and insured private investigator in the state of Kentucky. He is a managing partner and senior investigator with Twin Rivers Private Investigations, LLC located in Murray, KY. Twin Rivers PI specializes in surveillance, skip tracing and social media investigations. Visit www.twinriverspi.com or www.facebook.com/twinriverspi for additional information. Andy can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org