Ever wonder why police departments are starting to equip body cameras to provide sufficient evidence of public contact? Why is it that most departments across the U.S. are being pressured to require wearing body camera due to many events that happened in a good and bad way towards public contact. It is for a fact that most of the public have been contacted by the police in anyway and most of the public agrees that law enforcement officials should require wearing body cameras to protect law enforcement actions towards the public or even citizens’ rights. The controversial issue of the cameras is due to cost of money, privacy, and state laws regarding when is the proper time to record and when not too. I somewhat agree that some law enforcement officials should wear due to negative impact towards the public. It is an issue that is inevitable and debatable to enforce body cameras. In today’s age, much of the population supports having body cameras because most people want to see the real evidence of right and wrong and will be used for the public’s interest and support of evidence in court.
I somewhat agree to require them to wear body cameras because most law enforcement officials are being blamed for actions that they made in which it may or may not be true. I only agree that only few law enforcement departments should require to wear body camera where there is a high level of population and a lot of public contact and has a reputation for their department for an example, Los Angeles Police Department, Chicago Police Department, New York Police Department, and other major departments. Small departments such as San
Bernardino County Sheriff, Tulare Police Department, and other small departments should at least require to wear a tape recorder in case of an incident that it may need to be testified in court, the tape recorder will be able to record every verbal action. I believe small departments shouldn’t require to wear body cameras because they only deal with a small portion of the public and body cameras aren’t necessary. They also have a high cost of cameras in which departments will not seek to spend money body cameras. A key solution to resolving the pros and cons towards cameras is too start simple such as dashcam’s and tape recorders on the officers/deputies. Having a simple small evidence can make huge impact on the officer and the civilian. Lack of evidence brings hard judgment and even unfair trials in court because of both eyewitness and officers statement of story that can be confusing and inaccurate. In the article, “Despite dangerous pursuits, Police tech is slow to advance” states that Houston PD is not having the enough budget to have every officer have a camera, “The $5,000 purchase price has been a major deterrent. “Every agency we speak with, they love the technology,” Fischbach said. “Unfortunately, it comes down to dollars.” (T. Frank)
Having body cameras will be sufficient evidence in a court case in which it may save an officers testimony and his actions towards the public. The positive and benefits of having a body camera is that it prevents violence from actions taken from an officer, accountability in which officers are being judged by their actions taken in public contact, and also it can give public policing of human actions. This means that the public can learn from the officers’ action and have a side view of what it is like to be a law enforcement official and how difficult and stressful the job can be. The negative side towards having cameras is privacy, in which most officers would want their cameras off when they are not making human contact because it is not necessary to be recorded. Also there is limitations in where officers do really want their conversations between law enforcements officials by themselves because they don’t want the public to hear all the comments the officers say towards anything in particular.
In conclusion, most departments across the U.S. are being pressured to require to wear body camera due to many events that happened in a good and bad way towards public contact. I support the argument in which only some, not all, should require to wear body cameras where there is a high level of population and high level of public contact. All of us as a public can agree that body cameras are favorable towards every law enforcement to provide evidence of actions taken towards the public and the officer. However, these circumstances pay a price and now we are going to use it as a positive and a negative evidence towards the use of cameras. Key solutions of having or not having cameras is also adding an additional small accessories such as dashcam’s and tape recorders because anything small of evidence, can bring huge impact on the public’s interest and in court.
Baum, Erica. “5 Pros and Cons of Police Wearing Body Cameras.”Newsmax. NewsWebsite, 30 June 2015. Web. 28 Mar. 2016.
One, Police. “Police Body Cameras: Do They Reduce Complaints of Officer Misconduct?” Police Body Cameras: Pros And Cons For Officers And Citizens. Einvestigator, 25 Jan. 2011. Web. 28 Mar. 2016.
Despite dangers of pursuits, police tech is slow to advance By: Thomas Frank, USA TODAY, USA Today, 07347456, AUG 04, 2015