Police body cameras have been creating a lot of buzz lately and while some individuals have been concerned for privacy, others feel it is a more effective means of reducing complaints against the police and increasing police accountability. But the fact is that the benefits of police body cameras cannot be overemphasized and its benefits outweighs the concerns for privacy.
What is a police body camera?
A police body camera, which is also known as wearable camera or body-worn camera, is a wearable video, audio, or photographic recording system which is used in the recording of events in which police officers or other law enforcement officers are involved.
Below are the four benefits of police body cameras.
1. Police Body Cameras Help In The Easy Recognition of the Patterns of Officer Behavior
The truth is that these police body cameras have improved significantly. The ability of law enforcement agencies to improve customer service, tactics, and communications via the footage provided by these cameras. Through the footage from the body cameras, the law enforcement agencies provide training (scenario-based training) to the new recruits and also effectively identify the areas that require improved training.
Similarly, the evidence provided by the cameras can be used to reduce protocols, training, and policies because the camera enables the easy identification of the wide-reaching structural anomalies that's plaguing a department.
2. Improvement Of Evidence Collection At Accident Scenes
If you are still not convinced of the benefits of body cameras from the above mentioned benefit, then you should consider the following. Police body cameras help in the smooth collection of evidence at accident scenes. It has successfully stopped the issue of conflicting reports from witnesses and victims when they are asked to give the details of an accident.
This is because, unlike many in-car cameras, police body cameras capture everything that occurs as the officers travel around the scene and interview a lot of people. It helps in the accurate preservation of information.
3. Provision Of Evidence In Domestic Violence Cases
Over the years, it has been very difficult to prosecute the perpetrators of domestic violence and most times, domestic violence cases end up closed, for a number of reasons; ranging from a victim unwilling to testify and a lack of evidence. And this has become hard nut to crack for law enforcement officers and agencies. In most cases, the officers are aware that the suspect is abusing the victim repeatedly, but it is either there is a lack of substantial evidence to go to trial or the victim, out of fear, refuses to press charges.
But with the victims' permission, the officers can now record victims' statements at the scene with the help of these police body cameras. This gives the officers enough evidence to proceed with a case even if the victim decides not to go through with the case later.
The footage reveals the victim's demeanor, immediate reaction, and most importantly, the victim's injuries to prove that the victim was actually assaulted. The footage from the police body cameras can even lead to a guilty plea without going to trial.
4. It Provides Assistance In Exiting Consent Decrees
When it comes to the matter of officers facing external investigations, body cameras have proven to be a great and reliable solution. With body cameras, the investigators can find out whether the officers are engaged in constitutional policing on a daily basis or not. And they can come to an objective conclusion through the evidence provided by the body cameras.
With body cameras, the footage of the interaction of officers with their respective communities can demonstrate to a large extent, that the officers are improving practice and policies within their respective agencies. It helps to keep law enforcement officers in check, by verifying that they are doing what they are supposed to do.
In conclusion, the importance of police body cameras cannot be stressed enough and in addition to the four benefits mentioned above, police body cameras has helped in the reduction of complaints filed against law enforcement officers. Police body cameras has and is still improving the conduct of officers and even civilians.
And because of police body cameras, wrong or faulty claims and accusations against officers, ranging from; sexual harassment, extortion, racial profiling, and many other vices related to the abuse of office can now be refuted.
The body camera is a very useful tool in protecting everyone and the law enforcement officers are not exempt. It protects the police from the general public and the general public from the police.
With police body cameras in place, law enforcement officers can no longer get away with questionable behavior and it will assist in the prosecution of cases and making sure that the officers are conducting themselves accordingly and in a professional manner.