As a police officer, you might find yourself in a situation where you would need a body worn camera. Some of these situations might include to use the footage as evidence later or take accountability for your actions, to allow for more transparency within an agency, and to help protect civil rights.
You might find yourself in an encounter between you and another person and that person is fabricating an entirely different story from the one you know and lived. With the footage captured from the body worn camera, you now have hard evidence of what the true story really is, can take accountability for any of your actions, and can seek justice about what really happened.
If you?re still wondering what the benefits of using body worn cameras for police are, here are three reasons why they can be very positive and promising tools.
1. Personal accountability
You might be caught in the midst of a situation where you are getting blamed for misconduct. Perhaps you did do something wrong, and having this footage on camera can prove it and have you learn from your mistakes. This is where personal accountability comes in. However, it can also help you prove your innocence in a situation where a story is being fabricated against you and you need to prove what your role in the scene was. All around, body worn cameras for police can be beneficial in providing evidence of the truth.
2. Transparency within an agency
Do you think something fishy is going on within your agency? Body worn camera footage can help prove what the truth really is. Perhaps you caught a fellow officer engaging in some kind of misconduct, and now you have it on film. This helps to keep lying at bay and help all of your team keep working on the path of seeking justice and finding the truth. A recent study found that there was a 93 person drop in complaints from the public received by officers who wear police body cams.
3. It betters the relationship between the police and the public
A Pew Research Center study found that 66 percent of police officers favor the use of body worn cameras and 93 percent of the public also favored the use of these cameras. Wearing cameras on the body as a policeman can help to make sure the proper footage of a scenario is captured, which makes the officer themselves more aware of the actions they are taking and how they are handling the person they are dealing with. Seeing your own actions back on tape can make you much more aware, especially knowing that there can be serious repercussions if the footage is seen by supervisor and you committed an act of misconduct. This in turn makes the public feel more safe, and thus they favor the cameras. A Pew Research study found that half of policemen believe that a using these cameras will make other policemen more likely to act appropriately.
There are many benefits to body worn cameras for police. It might seem a bit weird at first and it might take some getting used to, but when you see the good it can do, you will be glad you made the switch to wearing one.