Missing audio on police dash cam during city manager stop prompts Port Richey to change policy
Officer turned off microphone during investigation
6:13 PM, Aug 2, 2013
PORT RICHEY, Fla. - The dash cam video that captured what happened the night police found Port Richey City Manager Tom O'Neill asleep at the wheel runs for 50 minutes. Yet, the audio is missing for most of it.
Port Richey Police Officer Lloyd Johansen, who arrived on scene that night to assist a New Port Richey Corporal, was charged with a single task, to roll his dash cam.
But just two and a half minutes later, Officer Johansen turned off the microphone and he left it off for 43 minutes. The I-Team brought the missing audio issue to the attention of both Port Richey Police Chief Dave Brown and Captain David Young.
Port Richey's dash cam policy spells out that officers use it only for field sobriety tests. It says nothing about audio. The I-Team found that is not uncommon. We looked at the dash cam policy from New Port Richey Police and the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office and found they are similar. They call for the use of a video camera in DUI cases, but they also don't mention audio.
The microphone wasn't turned back on until the New Port Richey Corporal asked Officer Johansen for the microphone before attempting a field sobriety test on Tom O'Neill.
Officer Johansen did not violate any policy, but Captain Young says he will now update the department's guidelines.
Captain Young describes Lloyd Johansen as a solid young officer. He's been with the department for three years. We requested and read his entire personnel file and found no disciplinary action and good reviews.