Dec 15, 2015

Posted by in Shopping | Comments Off on Pros and Cons of Police Body Cameras

Pros and Cons of Police Body Cameras

There is no question that modern times are extremely techno-savvy. Virtually everyone has a smart phone – or other device – that allows them to record live events in real time. The question of whether or not police offers, who are on-duty, should use body cameras for police to recode events that are taking place is something that has been scrutinized quite a bit.

More and more police stations have begun to implement the use of body cameras for police and some are considering making it a part of their standard uniform. The goal of these cameras is to reduce the issues of force used by officers and complaints from citizens against officers.

Some of the specific advantages and disadvantages offered by body cameras for police are found here.

The Cameras
The most common cameras that are used are tiny, completely portable devices that are about the length and size of the traditional cigarette stick. This makes them easy to mount on sunglasses, clip to hats or even on uniform lapels or collars. The base of the device will be wired and then attached to the officer’s uniform to be concealed from view.

When in use, officers are required to wear them during their shift. In most cases, the batteries in the cameras will last for a period of 12.5 hours. The devices can record high quality video, even in a situation where the light may be compromised, such as interior spaces during the night. However, these cameras can be quite costly, and also require maintenance, retrieval of data and storage of what is recorded.

Specific benefits:

  • Ability to record every interaction between police and citizens to minimize complaints.
  • Provisions of evidence of what really happened, rather than a he-said, she-said situation.
  • Reduce the potential for false accusations, abuse or misconduct against officers.
  • Increase in the transparency and accountability of the police officers.
  • Video can help to expedited court proceedings.

Concerns Related to Body Cameras

  • They have to be physically activated by the office when exiting the patrol car.
  • There are some privacy issues for the cops and the civilians.
  • May prevent credible witnesses from coming forward.
  • The equipment can be costly.

All in all, these cameras are quickly becoming a part of the officer’s uniform. They offer a number of benefits, which is why so many police stations are adopting their use.

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