215 VBPD vehicles now have in-car cameras


VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Virginia Beach police have added in-car video recorders to 215 marked department vehicles.

Police made the announcement about the new technology Tuesday in a news release.

Now, 215 marked police vehicles have Axon’s Fleet 3 Mobile Video Recorders, which show activity in front of the police car as well as what happened in the back seat. The cameras will record traffic stops, vehicle pursuits, the transport of arrested persons, and more.

The addition of the car cameras is part of a series of changes in the past year and a half that aim to increase transparency in policing in the city.

The new in-car cameras will supplement body cameras, which are now worn by all sworn officers. The department worked for several years to get body cameras for all sworn personnel and reached that benchmark last year.

The pre-activation buffering period is also now two minutes instead of 30 seconds, as it was in the past. The buffering period means the body-worn camera is passively recording for the two minutes leading up to being activated.

Another change: Patrol officers are now required to activate their bodycams when dispatched to an incident, instead of when they arrive at a call. The change aims to ensure officers’ bodycams are on if they’re immediately involved in a critical situation upon arriving at a scene.

“The VBPD remains committed to improving accountability and transparency with the community by implementing additional, innovative technologies. I am proud to announce the addition of MVRs to our technology platform where they will assist our officers in capturing video of traffic and criminal law violations which will enhance prosecution efforts, while also providing a more objective assessment of encounters between our officers and citizens that may find themselves the subject of a traffic stop.”

A lack of body camera footage was a point of contention following the March 26, 2021 death of Donovon Lynch, a 25-year-old who was shot and killed by an officer at the Oceanfront. There is no body camera footage from the shooting.


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