Lawlor says the issue of why some departments have car cameras and others don't is "very much a mixed bag." He admits that part of the reason is certainly that many local police agencies simply don't think they can afford it.
State lawmakers are very unlikely to require cities and towns to install cop dash cams, says Lawlor, because it would be another of those detested "unfunded mandates" municipal leaders are always bitching about. And the deficit-ridden state isn't about to try and find the money to pay for those dash cams.
"They can't mandate it," insists Salvatore, "unless the state provides the funds."
McGuire is more than a bit skeptical about the lack-of-money excuse. He points out that lots of departments seem to be able to get grants to pay for stuff like automatic license plate readers.
Meanwhile, there are reports that mini-cameras in civilian cars and even on bicycle helmets, as a way of recording accidents and abuses, may be spreading.
The widespread use of dash cams in private cars in Russia has been attributed to drivers in that nation being really worried about police corruption, con artists trying to claim they were hit, and difficulty in getting insurance accident claims approved.
Connecticut Insurance Department spokeswoman Donna Tommelleo says experts in her agency know of no insurance company in Connecticut offering policies or riders involving dash cams.
At least one U.S. firm, American Family Insurance, is providing free dash cams to its customers as part of a safe teenage driving program. The idea is the camera footage allows parents to check on how safely their teens are driving.
Some experts say some truckers have also taken to using dash cams to combat unfair claims that they're always the ones responsible for truck/car mishaps. And lots of new cars already use rear-view cameras as a back-up safety device.
Lawlor believes increasing use of dash cams by police and others is perhaps the logical next step in our increasingly video-recorded society. And the next technological advance — tiny body cameras on police uniforms — is already being experimented with by local departments in Branford and Milford.
"It's going to be very hard to lie in the future and get away with it," says Lawlor, whether you're a cop or a civilian.