I saw this on t.v. the other night; then read about it today, so I am eager to see if you agree with me – I think that body cameras for cops are a great idea! (Of course, if I’m the “perp”, I may not think so.) It seems that hundreds of police departments across the country are using tiny body cameras for their officers to wear to be able to record a traffic stop, hot vehicle pursuit,or an unfolding violent crime.
There are red-light cameras, dash-cams, and nanny-cams, so why not more assistance for our law enforcement officers? This tiny camera can record, download and be replayed instantly, either for evidence or to help confirm police reports. They act as a safety net to improve police accuracy. At this time, they are not mandatory, and cost about $100 to $125 each. Many officers are paying for them out-of-pocket.
Oakland, California and hundreds of other police departments across the U.S. are equipping officers with small body cameras to record incidents between themselves and citizens. It serves as protection for officers, citizens and with investigations. Instead of getting just one or two versions, it levels the playing field, acccording to Steve Tidwell, executive director of the FBI National academy Associates in Quantico, Virginia. As he states, “it’s all there, in living color.”
The officers must turn on their cameras for traffic stops and possible searches. They must download their video within a day, and they are not allowed to edit or manipulate it. These videos can be stored up to five years.
Michael Risher, an attorney with the ACLU of Northern California says law enforcement agencies using body cameras need to have clear and consistent objectives. It can’t be where they turn them off and on when they want to. These cameras should greatly improve relations between the police and community, if done right.
We watch a lot of reality shows, many involving law enforcement. With the types of crime that police are exposed to on a daily basis, any kind of technology that can help them should be at their disposal. Many crimes are committed by people that have access to high-powered guns, and just might use one when an officer asks them to open their car door. Hopefully, this tiny personal law enforcement camera will prove to be a big help for our law enforcement officers to be able to catch the bad guys, and prove who the “bad guys” really are – not our lawmen.