Advantages Of Police Body Cameras

1229 Words 5 Pages
Ryan Stevens
ENGL 123

Advantages and Disadvantages of Police Body Cameras

If you have been paying attention to the news in the last year you will have certainly heard talk of police body cameras. Prior to the grand jury 's decision, not to indict Officer Pantaleo for the death of Michael Brown, both protestors and politicians were calling for police departments across the country to outfit their officers with body cameras. (Considering police body cameras.) There are many advantages of body cameras such as getting a clearer picture of what occurs, reduction of complaints, and improving behavior. Alternately, there are many downsides as well. These include privacy concerns, upfront costs, and how evidence is stored and handled. The
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During trial, police reports can be difficult to interpret or visualize what has occurred. This can also be very beneficial during domestic abuse cases. Daytona Beach Florida Police Chief Michael Chitwood said, “Oftentimes we know that the suspect is repeatedly abusing the victim, but either the victim refuses to press charges, or there is simply not enough evidence to go to trial.” (Admin, 2015) The police chief also states that Officers are advised to, with the victim’s consent, record victims’ statements at the scene using their body cameras. This again is much quicker and easier than the previous way of using pen and paper. Some police departments are even going a step further. The Seattle police department, for example, is posting videos recorded by their police body cameras on a dedicated YouTube channel. …show more content…
Some concerns and problems with police body cameras include citizen and police officer privacy concerns. (White, 2015). Police officers often interact with the civilian population during their most vulnerable times. Such when they are in trouble or someone close to them has been harmed. I do not believe many people would want footage of them floating around after they have been the victim of a crime. Also, will police officers keep the camera rolling during highly sensitive situations? An article on the source of privacy states whether we there can be increased accountability without increased surveillance. Different states have different laws when it comes be being told if you are being recorded. Oregon is one such state that requires a party to disclose to another party if they are being recorded. There is currently a bill being sponsored by Oregon State Representative, Jennifer Williamson, that will allow police to record citizens and citizens to record police. Both parties will have to disclose to the one another if they are being recorded.

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