Equally important, a body camera is another tool for law enforcement. Certainly the cameras will help monitor the behavior of police officers and offer some measure of protection to the community against bad police behavior. Conversely, body cameras provide the officer with an unbiased record of an encounter with a citizen in the event the citizen lodges an unfounded complaint. The technology is readily available, easy to use and relatively cost effective.
Without question, a significant part of the police power derives from the written police report. A police report is the official record of the criminal scene. It is relied upon by the prosecutors, the courts and defense attorneys as an independent and reliable narrative of often disputed events. Typically, there is no trustworthy record other than the written police report. If an officer is untruthful in the police report, it is hard to dispute. Often, these disputes end up as a contest between the claims of the criminal suspect versus a police officer. The word of a respected, trusted police officer generally wins out over that of a...
... middle of paper ...
...dy worn cameras help strengthen accountability and transparency, and that officers and civilians both act in a more positive manner when they 're aware that a camera is present” (Hudson).
There is no question that trust between a police department and the community it serves is important. Trust is the bedrock foundation upon which all government sits. Without trust that the laws are fairly and appropriately applied to all citizens, the social contract between citizens and law enforcement fails.
Ultimately, body cameras and dash cams offer a measure of protection for the police and the community. The time has come for the full scale use of this technology across the country. Communities deserve to have faith in the integrity of their police department. Body cameras are simply one tool to rebuild trust between the police and the communities they serve.
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