Reasons for police to wear body cam
We live in such an age of technological innovation that it’s easy to forget about the more abstract things. Likewise, it’s easy to forget about how the abstract things affect the physical things or the physical things affect the abstract things. This can be a difficult concept to wrap your brain around so let’s try to make it concrete with a definite example. Cameras for law enforcement have been a hot button issue lately and it’s not hard to see why. With the opportunity to install easy cameras on anyone’s person and on their vehicles, it’s no wonder that people have turned the ability to the streets and buildings of our cities. For some it can be a scary concept but it absolutely doesn’t have to be. Body cams and the police dash camera can be a force for good in all sorts of different ways. It all depends on how and where they are used. Here is a short list of all the good that police body cam and police car video cameras can do when utilized lawfully.
- Seeing everywhere
The first and most important good that police body cams and car cameras can do is to allow for eyes everywhere. This is a bit of complicated concept as well so let’s take another, smaller concrete example. Say there’s a bank robbery in Gary, Indiana. It’s a bit of foggy day and the streets are fairly crowded. The bank is broken into by two men who, because they aren’t the smartest men at least in this scenario, they aren’t wearing masks. They take their guns, head inside and demand that they are given a large amount of money. Standard bank robbery tactics. Then they leave and flee the scene on foot with police in pursuit. The men run to a river and jump in, hoping to get away. They actually succeed for a time and they lose the cops who cannot find them. A search for these two begins and continues into the coming days but, sadly enough, the only useful records that exist of these men are in the minds of the people who saw them. At least, this is how it would have played out in the decades prior to ours. But it’s different now.
Eyes on the world
This is where the car cameras and the body cams come into useful play. You see, law enforcement and tracking is very difficult. While TV shows make it look easy, the data files that police have access to can be very limited. There isn’t just a massive database that they can plug into and see who committed the crime. Useful as that would be, it doesn’t exist. It gets even more complicated when witnesses get involve and start adding their testimony. They might remember the facial hair or nose of one of the men which will prompt the police to bring in suspects that may or may not be innocent. There’s just no way to know. But body cams change all of this. It’s really more of a fundamental change than you might think. Now, as long as body cams are used on any of the pursuing cops, there’s fundamental hard evidence of what the criminals looked like and how they acted. Cameras don’t lie. They are just incapable. While one story of one witness might contradict another, the camera is going to tell what happened no matter who was involved.
The future of police and suspects
This honesty is a radical concept for law enforcement and the concept of law in general. It can change public opinion and alter whole testimonies. This transparency can seem scary to some and there are always concerns, of course. Some have protested that being on constant camera changes the behavior of everyone involved and affects situations in a negative way. This is a semi valid issue but, really, the ability to see past purely verbal stories is too great of a power to give up. It’s going to be utilized for good more than it’s going to be abused. It’s going to be used to keep everyone honest and fair on the streets.