Body cameras may be one of the fastest growing technological tools police have on their side. They are small, the size of a small cellphone, and clip directly to an officer’s uniform. So far there has been huge payoffs for police.
“We now have officers who buy pin cameras for themselves for $30 or $40.” Austin, TX Chief Art Acevedo says. “Just recently, we were able to use the video footage from a $30 body camera that one of my corporals was wearing as part of our inquiry into an officer-involved shooting.”
When it comes to police wearing body cameras, Acevedo thinks in five years every police officer will be wearing one.
“The cost is relatively inexpensive when compared to the amount of liability that police departments face,” says Indio, CA Former Chief Brad Ramos. “Thanks to quite a bit of risk management, including this technology, we haven’t had many payouts as a result of our use-of-force investigations. I think when you look at the complete picture, it is a worthwhile investment.”
As with smartphones that record video, it looks like police body cameras will soon become a standard form of evidence in court cases. I wonder if the increase in accountability (soon everything a cop does will be monitored) will have a large effect on police interactions with the people they are arresting. The same goes for the individuals getting arrested. The days of he said she said are quickly fleeting in the enforcement world.