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Palo Alto police cruisers are now equipped with new video systems, including five cameras instead of a previous two. The above camera is on the exterior of a cruiser. Courtesy Palo Alto Police Department. Source: http://www.paloaltoonline.com/news/2014/03/20/palo-alto-police-embrace-new-recording-technology

Palo Alto police cruisers are now equipped with new video systems, including five cameras instead of a previous two. The above camera is on the exterior of a cruiser. Courtesy Palo Alto Police Department. Source: http://www.paloaltoonline.com/news/2014/03/20/palo-alto-police-embrace-new-recording-technology

Palo Alto police cruisers are now equipped with new video systems, including five cameras instead of a previous two. Courtesy Palo Alto Police Department.

Palo Alto police cruisers are now equipped with new video systems, including five cameras instead of a previous two. Courtesy Palo Alto Police Department.

"The Palo Alto Police Department has recently installed new video systems on dozens of cruisers, replacing the recording systems that were first installed on police vehicles in 2006. In addition to the usual enhancements one can expect with video upgrades -- high-definition video and high-fidelity audio -- the new recording systems have an additional feature: the ability to record and review what happened before an incident even occurs.

Unlike the previously used Mobile In-Car Video System, which included two cameras on the cruiser, the new systems include five. This means new cameras on the cruisers' sides and rearview mirrors, according a report from the police department.

"We've already had a few cases where actions of our officers that would not have been captured on the old system were completely captured on the new one, which allowed us to have a clear view of what went on," said Lt. Zach Perron, the department's public information manager. "That's exactly what we want to have."

The improvement in audio quality is also significant, he said. Audio recordings in the new systems have far more range and can work "through objects," Perron said."

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