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Is there an increased need for cameras?


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This story happened to a wrongfully accused Police Officer. However, it could just as easily happen to a Tow Truck Operator. Is you company are you prepared for the possibility of such an accusation?


Do you have a camera in the cab of the truck that can face the passenger or better yet capture nearly the entire interior of the trucks cab?



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Absolutely yes! I believe in cameras so much that I have dual facing cameras even in all of my personal vehicles. We live in a twisted society where false accusations are commonplace. I really am considering a body am, although there are some legal restrictions on civilian use of body cameras that vary from state to state.


I will share a very personal story, one from nearly 30 years ago that illustrates exactly how important cameras really are, and perhaps is where my feelings about them come from.


I was an 18 year old kid, fresh out of high school and new CDL holder driving school bus, yes a school bus. All was good until after the first Christmas break when my supervisor changed my assignment to a high school route from an elementary route. Mind you, this was the district I graduated from just 6 months earlier so these were former classmates (underclassmen) of mine. On this route there were two trouble maker girls that I had previous encounters with as a student, and despite me making it known I had no interest in either of them (was already with the girl who became, and still is, my wife). SO there is bad history between us, lots of history!


First complaint happened within a week of me being on the route, one of their mothers decided I wasn't driving safely and lodged a complaint with the district. Fortunately, the Director of Transportation knew me well, he was also in charge of the auditorium where I spent most of my time as the student tech director for lighting and audio (geek I know). He dismissed her complaint without so much as a second thought.


Next time the girls decided to report me for lewd comments, glances and one even said I tried to touch her. Absolutely not! Now, complaints of this level could not just be swept aside, so there was a full investigation that took all of a day thanks to the cameras we had on the bus. My employer had been very progressive and installed cameras that captured student behavior early on, although the system relied on a portable Mini 8 type camera (very expensive) so we shared one camera among all 44 buses. Each had the box, complete with flashing red light, and the students didn't know if it was actually recording.


I had a gut feeling something bad was going to happen so I had the camera in my bus and it clearly showed absolutely nothing had happened when they claimed, and since I was worried I had been changing and keeping tapes since the driving complaint, so I had proof nothing had ever happened.


Having this video evidence saved my job, my clean criminal history (must have to teach in the school and be on police rotation) and most importantly -my marriage. I doubt a young couple with a almost 1 year old baby could have survived this type of accusation if I had not been exonerated. It is because of my personal experience with issues like this that I have always kept on top of event data recorders of all types, simple CYA.


I can't even imagine how my career track would have been altered, my whole life changed had it not been for that video evidence 30 years ago.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hey Mr. Byoda ... sounds to me that you should to make a trip to Atlantic City to look at the sea of camera vendors at American Towman's Tow Expo this December. American Towman typically showcases products in their April, Buyer's Guide and December's, Product Gateway.


For the short term, Google, "Cameras for Tow Trucks" and you'll get a ton of websites to visit, or, ask your other local tower's what systems they're using and what they like and dislike about them. Seeing them up-front and operational at the tow shows is a great way to evaluate different features and learn the nuances of each system. What matter's most is ... how much gold do you have in your magic wheel-barrow to spend on a system with the features you want? Like everything else, there's cheap and there is quality. Happy Shopping.     R.

Randall C. Resch

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