In recent years, there have been many debates over the usage of police body cams and improved police dash camera systems. Most police forces across the nation have been using in car police video systems for decades and have experienced many benefits as a result. However, many departments have doubts about the benefits of police body cams.
Yet because so many major police departments have started using body cameras, the real world benefits of this technology have become self-evident. Here we explain some advantages of equipping police officers with this extremely helpful technology.
- Approval from the public According to a recent study from Cambridge University, police that are equipped with body cams receive 93% fewer complaints from the public. This is especially helpful in communities with high levels of tension between citizens and police officers. When both police officers and community residents know there will be video evidence available, everyone is on their best behavior. When citizens do make false reports of misconduct, these body cams can prove the police officer was justified in his or her actions.
- A clear picture Thanks to digital cameras and data storage, both police dash camera systems and body cams feature crisp, clear footage. Police reports can sometimes be confusing to understand, but the video can help paint a clear picture and remove uncertainty over a particular situation. The technology will only continue to improve.
- Enhanced evidence collection Things happen quite fast in the world of law enforcement, and it can be a challenge to collect adequate evidence from the crime scene in a timely manner. But when you use a video, it will provide a non-biased view of the incident as a whole. It is also a valuable piece of evidence for the court system, as it will give concrete information for the judge and lawyers to base their case off of.
- Identifies patterns of behavior Police body cams and dash camera systems are great learning tools as well. They are helpful for units looking to improve their communication and tactics, both between each other and with those they are protecting and serving. In addition, they can help to identify areas where they need to improve their training with new officers and re-certification with senior members.
- Improved behavior While many community members believe that police officers will behave more ethically when wearing body cams, many police officers believe the same is true about suspects they encounter on the job. In general, individuals who know they are being filmed are less likely to act violently when being arrested or stopped, which increases the safety of everyone involved.
The most recent incident providing irrefutable proof of the benefits of police body cams is the investigation surrounding the death of George Floyd during an encounter with Minneapolis police officers on May 25, 2020. Camera footage from two police officers has recently been released showing the entire encounter from beginning to end. Such evidence will be very valuable in upcoming Court proceedings.
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