The Benefits of Police Body Cameras
Police brutality and police misconduct has been all over the media lately. Police officers are being accused of unfair police actions. Their word is being questioned during routine traffic stops and during criminal arrests. Many police officers are being forced to stand trial, in cases that involve their jobs and their legal sentencing. Many of these questions and concerns over what took place during the arrest could be quieted with in car police video systems or body and dash-mounted cameras. The specific events of the arrest and the routine traffic stop would be visible for the appropriate parties to view. Police officers would not be required to stand trial, because the proof would be in the dash camera.
Having body and dash-mounted cameras on each police vehicle would also force both police officers and those being stopped by the police to be careful of their words and their actions. They would know they are being filmed and this in itself could reduce the amount of negative police stops. Studies actually show promise in this fact. According to a 2015 report by the Police Department for the City Council?s Public Safety and Livable Neighborhoods Committee, complaints against the San Diego police fell 40.5%, the use of personal body force by officers fell 46.5%, and the use of pepper spray fell by 30.5% after the San Diego police department started using body camera.
Police officers who are equipped with a dash cam or a body camera are more aware of their actions. They may be more hesitant to result to force or to pepper spray to control someone. This is likely to reduce the amount of police misconduct cases and the complaints against the police officer force.
A 2013 survey by the Police Executive Research Forum found that about 75% of polled police departments reported that they did not use body worn cameras. A large percentage also do not use or have access to body and dash-mounted cameras. Some cities police forces are working on tight budgets and may not have the funds available for these body and dash-mounted cameras. However, with the reduction of police misconduct cases, cities will find less financial responsibility for these cases. Additionally, body police cameras and dash cameras are becoming more affordable than ever. As the market and the demand for them continue to grow, the supply will also increase, with the prices decreasing. The global dashboard camera market, in terms of revenue, was valued at US $1,458.2 Mn and is forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 15.3% during the period from 2014 to 2020. The idea is that more and more police departments will see the benefits of police body cameras and the high demand will cause the prices to decrease.
Many of the public media cases that involve police misconduct and police brutality today could have been prevented with these body and dash-mounted cameras. Currently, judges and jurors are left with hearsay evidence. This type of evidence is generally not enough to place a verdict of innocent or guilty onto someone. The dash and body cameras would be enough evidence to find an accurate verdict.
You have probably noticed a lot of media coverage lately about police misconduct. However, many of these cases do not have sufficient proof. Police officer departments who are equipped with dash and body mounted cameras are better protected and can provide proof. These cameras can be very helpful in court and should be a priority for all police departments. Those police departments who are on a budget can look at the savings they will get from being able to provide proof. Additionally, the more demand that exists for these cameras, the more the supply will increase, reducing the price of them.