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Should Police Officers be required to wear a body camera, when on the job?

Asked by: SnaxAttack
  • Safety for the People

    I believe a Police Officer should be required to wear a body camera because of the safety of both the People, and officer him or herself. It will allow video evidence of any certain charges being against the officer, and reduce the conflict against those who claim "Police Brutality". With the video evidence, it will help promote evidence of any incident. If the officer does take it off, he or she should be charged for denial of not doing your job of having a body camera, when in uniform.

    The idea does not take away any rights, because the Officer signed the statement of serving the Department and the People. It was his or her choice to join the force in the first place. The body camera is a great addition to the force for having more evidence, in certain situations, and promote more safety towards the Officer and People. As well as building a more trustworthy bond between the Police Department and people.

  • Police NEED body cameras

    If police officers do not wear body cameras, it not only puts them in danger, but the civilians as well. We can tell, due to past incidents that witnesses are not as reliable as they used to be. Body cameras are EVIDENCE and if they are not used, justice for victims as well as police officers can not be served. People lie! And some police officers who are seen as bad, may not actually be bad! And those who were wrongfully freed, did not serve time! During this era, people are not as reliable as they used to be, therefore police do need body cameras.

  • Cameras, not guns!

    Here's the thing: I would much have my taxes spent paying for cameras then lethal weapons. I think that if we took the guns out and put in the cameras, then the accountability will be raised and it will make proper prosecution easier in the court of law. But I do not want my hard earned money spent on guns of all things!

  • Police brutality is common in this day and age

    Officers should have a camera recording their duty, as it is common for cops to handle the situation unlawfully these days. All duty regarding the law should be monitored and kept within the law it is enforcing at all times.
    It is also a way to use footage as evidence in terms of police business that may require proof later on in court. A very Good idea and One that should be utilized to the fullest degree, especially America.

  • This is why

    There are people who say they were treated wrong by the police. (especially in the black and Latino community) some time it is true but the cops walk away scot free and nothing is done about it on the victim's side I, sorry but the yes vote needs to be 100%

  • It is a good idea as long as not cost too much

    Just last night, when I at the ticket entrance in train station, I witnessed a conflict between the officer and the customer. I don't know why, maybe just some small things. But it was crowded, thus the lady was in bad mood. Also bored for his job, the officer is not willing to treat the lady friendly enough. The lady shouted to the officer, and greatly hindered others enter the entrance. However, if there is a body camera, the lady should look herself because she knows others watching and the office would be more friendly since he know what he behaved is under supervise. In fact, wearing a body camera is a reminder for both.

  • That's a good idea

    Body cameras can help them to keep a record of everything and check them out when it is needed.It can also be used by news reporters to wright about the incident or crime.In addition,some shows on TV ca use them.Police can use them to identify people or any body that is integral.

    Posted by: BITW
  • That's a good idea

    Body cameras can help them to keep a record of everything and check them out when it is needed.It can also be used by news reporters to wright about the incident or crime.In addition,some shows on TV ca use them.Police can use them to identify people or any body that is integral.

    Posted by: BITW
  • Yes, They Should

    Yes, they should be required to wear body cameras as a way to protect the department from liability and gather evidence at the same time. However, body cameras would only be useful in small cases, and wouldn't do anything to prevent outrage in publicized cases, as we have seen in the past year.

  • It is a good idea as long as not cost too much

    Just last night, when I at the ticket entrance in train station, I witnessed a conflict between the officer and the customer. I don't know why, maybe just some small things. But it was crowded, thus the lady was in bad mood. Also bored for his job, the officer is not willing to treat the lady friendly enough. The lady shouted to the officer, and greatly hindered others enter the entrance. However, if there is a body camera, the lady should look herself because she knows others watching and the office would be more friendly since he know what he behaved is under supervise. In fact, wearing a body camera is a reminder for both.

  • Would be useless.

    From what I read, the start up cost for a department with about 100 officers would cost $86,000 in startup costs in the first year alone. Sure, it sounds like it would help clear up claims of police brutality but when the claims prove to be false, you know they will just claim that the footage was doctored making the cost useless. Seeing that part of the cost is data storage, police will likely have to turn them off whenever they feel footage would not be of use like the other hours when they are not on a call. Seeing that this could result in them forgetting to turn it back on, this could lead to other scenarios. For instance, an officer who might abuse his authority might claim that he forgot to turn it on. Because this is a possible scenario, an officer who only forgot to turn on his camera could be accused of anything with claims that he didn't turn on his camera on purpose.Basically it would be an expensive pain in the butt with no real benefit.

  • It's not practical.

    Like MitchV said, money-wise it's not worth it, and there are many loop holes which an already dirty-cop would just use to get around it. And besides, I'm not sure absolutely everything the police does should be documented publicly. Perhaps a camera in the police car would be a better option, but I think instead we should invest in ways to keep our cops clean.

  • Victims right to privacy.

    People seem to forget that no one has the right to just record people any time and anywhere they want. If the purpose of a camera is to record everything they see, and a situation calls them inside someone's home, the homeowner has the right to not have video of their property released to the public. So almost nothing recorded by a police camera would be usable in a court.

  • If you can't trust them to work without a camera then they shouldnt be a cop in the first place.

    Police should consist of some of the best and brightest we have to offer. They should not have to have cameras on them at all times to keep them honest. They are there to be the physical embodiment of our society's morals and laws. I think that if you have to put cameras on them to make them do right ... Then youre hiding a problem thats still going to exist under the skin.

    As far as them being used as a tool to protect the cop and aid in record keeping ... Sure. Up to their discretion and use of the subsequent recording should also be up to their discretion.

  • Body cams are not necessary

    They are completely unnecessary for collecting evidence, but if a police officer feels it might be beneficial then I don't see why not.

    They shouldn't be compulsory though because it damages trust, no-one likes to be filmed, and the public won't know if they are being filmed secretly or not.

  • Not all police are bad

    Just because a few police officers are racist or beat up people for kicks doesn't mean all of them do that. People are extremely ungrateful to have police to protect them from crime. Besides, it would cost a lot of money, and police have dashboard cams anyways. Body cams are unnecessary.

  • They already have them in cars; still doesn't help

    They already have cameras in every police car to monitor what they do so they stay 'clean'. It still does not help as there are many, many ways to get around it. Footage can be fudged and edited to alter the case as needed; or straight up thrown out for tampering. The media does this all the time with their 'news'. All it would be is a waste of tax payers money.

  • Hell no! Not with today's technology.

    The cops should be required to donate an eyeball and have it replaced with a camera that cannot be dropped, unless they rip it out of their own head. Liberal technology can do this and want's to. Hell, human cops shouldn't even exist, they should all be robotized! According to you.

  • Abuse and brutality

    Cops can go against this and still beat then and brutality an go a far way, a far way to attack helpless people, just look the trey on Martin case, he was carelessly attached and brutally beaten, restitution should be a must , but ones life is way more important.

  • No stop that

    Still does not help as there are many, many ways to get around it. Footage can be fudged and edited to alter the case as needed; or straight up thrown out for tampering. The media does this all the time with their 'news'. All it would be is a waste of tax payers money.


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FreedomBeforeEquality says2015-09-11T14:49:38.653
Its stupid that they would make the cops wear them. If you think it protects you so much, why dont you go wear one everyday? Youre going to play the "conflict of interest" card everytime you get video from their cameras anyways. Use your own. Im sure there are areas you would want it on you outside of police interactions. And then also the rest of us dont have to succumb to your foolishness. Its a win win win.
SnaxAttack says2015-09-11T15:02:36.333
We are not referring to saying that camera's would protect us. In fact, it would actually promote a more just way on putting criminals in jail with actual proof on certain scenes.
FreedomBeforeEquality says2015-09-11T19:43:26.563
If its up to the cops discretion whether to use it or not ... Then sure. Still I think there are privacy laws being infringed upon when they are used on people who are innocent. Having them on all the time is capturing everyone, even innocents, on tape and using their likenesses in evidence without permission ... That should not happen. They should have to have consent.
SnaxAttack says2015-09-11T19:59:24.830
I got a question. What is the harm of a cop having a body camera? It is not infringing on privacy compared to emails being read by the NSA, when it is just used for as another way on seeing what really happened.
MakeSensePeopleDont says2015-09-12T04:09:08.417
I cannot provide a vote on this as the correct answer isn't listed. The correct answer is "It depends". It makes sense for jurisdictions that see adversely high volumes of officer / civilian interaction, it makes sense in high crime jurisdictions, it makes sense it areas that see adverse volumes of civilian complaints against officers, it even makes sense for CERT and SWAT teams. || Before proceeding to the other side, let's address the stone cold facts: For larger orders coming from large police forces, the price per unit just for the cheapest body cam is discounted to $365 per unit. For smaller forces, ordering only a handful, these same units are sold at retail value of $425 per unit. Now, as I do not want to sit here listing each accessory individually, I am providing a link to the Law Enforcement Pricing Sheet for the Taser Axon Flex Body Cam Accessories from 2012. No other pricing sheets are readily available as this was, but the pricing is fairly relative between fiscal years. http://www.town.madison.wi.us/police/Info/misc/flex_price_list_with_terms.pdf || Keep in mind, that is a very small subset of products and does not include the cost of data storage, transfer, redaction, additional employees to maintain the data, etc. Proper data transfer, storage, redaction, and security comes with price tags in the millions of dollars annually. || That being said, after reviewing the pricing models for the product and lifespan of data, this does NOT make sense for smaller jurisdictions with tighter budgets unless they have absolute necessity for them. Think about the small jurisdictions around the nation, policed by a single Sheriff and small handful of Deputies; would it make sense to annihilate their budgets for these? || Without going into the slew of other issues unrelated to cost, I want to provide the MAJOR con I find with these during my research: if an arrest is made or summons handed down, the video of that interaction now becomes public record. Let's say that an officer is making an arrest, you decided to play hooky from work that day in order to go to a concert or be first in line for the next big tech gadget. As you stand in line in front of the tech store, unknown to you, the officer is making an arrest 300 yards away, he now needs to retrace the path of the suspect to search for any evidence or contraband the suspect may have ditched, so the officer ends up walking right by you; unknown to you, the officer's body cam caught a a crystal clear image of your face. This turns out to be the lead story for national media outlets, meaning that recording becomes public property. Long story short, your boss ends up seeing with his own eyes, you playing hooky; you are quickly fired from your job. So yes, you just lost your job because you played hooky; however, truth is, there were some major privacy violations there not to mention the violations that have occurred as a result of the officer not properly informing you that you were being recorded. Privacy...That is the big cultural and respect issue that will occur.
FreedomBeforeEquality says2015-09-14T15:14:48.093
"I got a question. What is the harm of a cop having a body camera? It is not infringing on privacy compared to emails being read by the NSA, when it is just used for as another way on seeing what really happened."

All I can say with the NSA thing is 'two wrongs dont make a right'.
SnaxAttack says2015-09-15T20:56:45.657
"All I can say with the NSA thing is 'two wrongs don't make a right".

How does this infringe on privacy at all?
MakeSensePeopleDont says2015-09-15T22:07:40.583
@SnaxAttack -- If an officer informs a suspect they are filming the interaction, it gives him right to do so. What it does NOT give approval to do is capture any bystanders or private property which the camera will undoubtedly pickup. Both law enforcement AND the civil liberties union have acknowledged this as a very real issue and state there needs to be a solution before mass amounts of lawsuits ensue for invasion of privacy and violation of the unlawful search and seizure laws outlined in the constitution.
SnaxAttack says2015-09-16T00:50:26.290
@MakeSensePeopleDont
But can't a citizen film an officer, without letting them know and they still get away with it? Why can't an officer be allowed to do the same? Also for the infringing on privacy, the NSA has done it already and probably will never be stopped. They can claim that they did, but did they really? This same idea can also be said about allowing officers with cameras. Many forget they have them, and those who go against them are the real criminals within a crime.
MakeSensePeopleDont says2015-09-16T03:17:42.880
@SnaxAttack -- Correct, citizens CAN film in public space without informing officers. Bottom line, officers and the justice department are governed by a different set of laws at times, one of them being the 4th Amendment protecting citizens from illegal search and seizures. This is because the every day citizen does not hold the power to make arrests, use force, use lethal force, etc. An officer on the other hand can. Throughout the nation, there are states that already require officers to notify drivers if a dash cam in use, this is done to protect 1st and 4th amendment rights of the citizen as well as innocent bystanders. The biggest problem with NOT requiring officers to notify citizens they are being recorded, is that dash cams are attached to an officers car, meaning a 2 ton steel box with flashing lights would be in the area and relatively noticeable to all individuals in the area. A body cam on the other hand, can be accidentally concealed under a jacket, a hat, a lapel, etc. If an officer walks into a house on a call, and while inside of the house he sees with his own eyes, a draw that is cracked open concealing drugs, the officer has the obligation to investigate and legally. However, he his head is turned and he never sees it, so sorry officer, you lose. Now, if the officer again has his head turned, but his body cam picks up video of the drugs, AND he never informed the residents they were being recorded; when he reviews the footage and sees the drugs, there is absolutely nothing he can do about it as he did NOT have a legal warrant for search and seizure authorizing the use of an unannounced camera, AND he did not inform the residents prior to entering the house. Additionally, what if officers make forceful entry into the same house and upon entry the persons of interest, or even worse a random couple classified as innocent bystanders, are on the couch, naked, enjoying a passionate and physical session of coitus; unfortunately caught on film. The persons of interest end up being arrested which means the film is now public property and subject to the regulations of FoIA (Freedom of Information Act) and will be visible for any and all to see including the possibility of it ending up on the internet. This would cause an IMMEDIATE invasion of privacy lawsuit as well as all kinds of lawsuits for civil liberties as well as the complete destruction of an individuals social life and very possibly their mental faculties. Now, that is just a very straight forward one. What happens if a person is caught that has absolutely NOTHING to do with the incident and has no idea anything is even going on at the time. Suddenly they wake up and they are all over the news cycle with a video of themselves from a body cam, doing something in the background that is embarrassing or compromises their character, but is still LEGAL? See how this can get out of control? Again, remember, 4th Amendment, illegal search and seizure.
FreedomBeforeEquality says2015-09-16T15:06:26.637
"But can't a citizen film an officer, without letting them know and they still get away with it?"

They can. And I have a problem with that too. This is like that whole 'google glass' argument again. Or the one about paparazzi following you around all the time. Its a form of defamation and harassment if its unwanted. If the filming wasn't indiscriminate ... Then it might be different circumstances. Bystanders getting caught up in it are what make it wrong.
FreedomBeforeEquality says2015-09-16T15:10:59.200
Say they do a drug bust at a strip club. Being in the strip club itself isnt illegal ... But posting video of the scene would implicate all of those people in the establishment. Its a private establishment. And basically one person doing something illegal and then coming into it throws out all of the rights of everyone in the same building ... Thats not right. Or say a chase ends up going through your house and your backyard ... All of your personal belongings just got cased by everyone out there watching it. Maybe you were having sex on your couch with your wife when they busted in. Youre telling me you dont get the right to blur yourself out of it before they submit the entire chase video as evidence for people to watch?
FreedomBeforeEquality says2015-09-16T15:13:15.607
Maybe youre embarrassed about the way you live or dont want the world knowing you cant afford the best things, or something like that ... But if a cop with a warrant comes barging through your house in pursuit of a criminal ... All your personal business is blown.
FreedomBeforeEquality says2015-09-16T15:14:13.017
Yeah ... I agree with MakesSensePeopleDont entirely.