Should Cops Be Required to Wear Body Cameras on the Job?

By Tonka Dobreva 05.05.2015 interact

Today on the show you learned about a pilot program at the Minnesota Police Department that has 36 police officers test-wear body cameras while on duty. One month into the trial, results have suggested that cameras may be effective tools to monitor how police interact with civilians, when stopping someone on the street or responding to calls for help.

The Police Foundation has also released data from an extensive yearlong study that studies the effects of body-worn video cameras on police use of force. The study concluded that wearing cameras was associated with dramatic reductions in use-of-force, and complaints against officers.

“The findings suggest more than a 50 percent reduction in the total number of incidents of use-of-force compared to control-conditions, and nearly ten times more citizens’ complaints in the 12-months prior to the experiment,” said the authors of the study.

But some oppose equipping police officers with body cameras, claiming that the measure will cost a lot of money to states and may end up being ineffective anyway as officers can decide for themselves whether to turn the camera on or off, especially during difficult encounters.

Critics of such initiative also cite data safety as a challenge. Duluth Police Chief Gordon Ramsay explained in an interview that of the hundreds of videos that his police department collects daily, only about one-third are private as they are used for investigations. The rest of the video data is considered public and can be made available to anyone — including videos with children and inside people’s homes. Protecting that data will require additional efforts and resources.

We want to know what you think — should cops be required by law to wear body cameras while on duty? Vote and let us know your opinion in the comments section below.

comments

  1. wyatt

    so if he got a gun pulled on him or somthing like that and they shoot a the person they got proof they could shoot

  2. wyatt

    i think yes because if they were at a scene and somone came up to a person and started beating on them then the police officer has a video on what happend

  3. DiabloRidr

    I think cops should wear body cameras. If a bad event happened, let’s say along the lines of the cop and whoever they were arresting, pulling over, etc., where there was gun fights and stuff, the public and the police department would know what really happened. It would keep us safe from cops who were bad, or a bad person, both who could be claimed innocent, from being on the street.

    • Matthew Wood

      i agree, because there may have something bad that the cop did and he could be fired so it wouldn’t happen again.

  4. Bryce

    It would give us the intelligence that we need to know about cops, and see what they are doing.
    “i say yes strap on”

  5. Amaris

    I think officers should wear cameras because when more US citizens our being killed, and when there is no dash cam footage or footage recorded by a citizen wrong information is given and we never get justice for the US, in which causes protest.

  6. Meredith

    I don’t think they should because it is a wast of money, they should use on more important things. Because don’t they already have a dash cam in the car recording everything that’s going on around them? It would just be a waste of money.

  7. Chloe

    I think cops should wear body camras because like the Mike Brown shooting it took them like 2 months to find out what happened and if they had a body camra then they could find out what really happened faster

  8. sata

    I believe that cops should be able to wear body cameras so they don’t get accused of something they didnt do and so the facts can be straight

  9. HaleyJo S.

    I think cops should wear cameras because it is solid proof of what happened, no one could lie.

  10. christian hinojosa

    I think they should because so you
    would know what happens around them

  11. christian hinojosa

    I think they should because so you
    would know what happens around them

  12. John Flores

    I think that its great that cops are wearing cameras so they can make sure they are doing their job correctly

  13. Cade

    Police should wear body cameras to prevent any false accusations of suspects or police officers.

  14. Jacob

    I believe that cops should be required to were cameras. This will lead to less police brutality and there will be clear evidence of someone threatning an officer to the point of guns being drawn and shot. It will also prove the accused innocent or guilty

  15. Taylor S

    Yes. I think they should for several reasons!!!!!! To start off with, they won’t get accused of something they didn’t do or how they reacted to a situation and when they try to be charged with something, they can use that to show how things really went. Especially if someone did go after a cop and the cop had to do what he had to do as self defense and it be taken into racism. These riots on tv is getting annoying with all these cop issues. People say/blame it on the cops that they aren’t doing their job or he shouldn’t have acted so harsh on them people, but he wouldn’t have to do that if people weren’t breaking the law & wasn’t doing whatever he was doing in the first place. They need those cameras to show what actually happened and people can own up to what they did and accept that they were caught doing the wrong thing instead of making the situation worse. Just think if we didn’t have cops? Think about that one..

  16. Katelynn Skinner

    I think they should use it because it would clarify a lot and it would show on the tape what really happens, unlike in the Ferguson shooting. Nobody really knew what happened. A major factor is the money though.

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