Privacy Concerns in Police Body-worn Cameras

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1. Reason (Claim): Citizens privacy is at risk
Warrant: Body-worn cameras raise many privacy issues that have not been considered before. While stationary surveillance cameras generally cover only public spaces, body-worn cameras give officers the ability to record inside private homes and to film sensitive situations that might emerge during calls for service.

Evidence: The Daytona Beach (Florida) Police Department recently changed its policy to require that officers obtain consent, on camera, from all crime victims prior to recording an interview. “This new policy is a response to the privacy concerns that arise when you are dealing with victims of crime,” said Chief of Police Mike Chitwood of Daytona Beach.

Impact: This is import …show more content…

Reason (Claim): Impact on community relationships may be at risk
Warrant: This is true because concerns that excessive recording with body-worn cameras may damage the relationships officers have developed with the community and hinder the openness of their community policing interactions. Some police executives fear, that people will be less likely to come forward to share information if they know their conversation is going to be recorded, particularly in high-crime neighborhoods where residents might be subject to retaliation if they are seen as cooperating with police, according to PERF.

Evidence: The Mesa (Arizona) Police Department has also found that body-worn cameras can undermine information-gathering efforts. “We have definitely seen people being more reluctant to give information when they know that they are being videotaped,” said Lieutenant Harold Rankin. Chief of Police Sean Whent of Oakland, California, explained, “Our policy is to film all detentions and to keep recording until the encounter is over. But let’s say an officer detains someone, and now that person wants to give up information. We are finding that people are not inclined to do so with the camera running. We are considering changing our policy to allow officers to turn off the camera in those

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