The use of body and dash-mounted cameras are becoming more prevalent for law enforcement. Since most officers encounter dangerous, or potentially dangerous, situations and individuals on a regular basis, these devices are beneficial in order to record and monitor these interactions. Body and dash cameras have continued to demonstrate their effectiveness in public situations where bystanders are present.
Police Voice Their Concern for Dangers of Job
A Pew Research Center survey was recently conducted with 8,000 police officers. It’s not surprising that the results revealed these officers were concerned about the dangers posed by their jobs. Furthermore, 93% reported that they had become more concerned about this matter. This situation can be addressed, in part, by increasing visibility and transparency with in-car video systems and body cameras.
A Brief Overview of In-Car and Body Camera Usage
While just 11% of highway patrol and state police vehicles had in-car cameras in 2000, this number has greatly increased for state patrol vehicles in particular. Current figures indicate that 72% of state patrol vehicles now have video systems. Body cameras have also been adopted by more police departments throughout the country. As recently as March 2015, approximately 33% of the United States’ 18,000 police departments were using these devices. It is highly likely that both dashboard and body cameras have been adopted by more departments since the survey was conducted.
Police and Public Approval for Body Cameras
Many officers have considered the possibility that body cameras can be useful when interacting with the public. According to a 2015 study, 25.2% of the officers equipped with body cameras were found to be more likely to believe this. Given that these officers had been wearing cameras, it’s quite likely that they had prior, direct experience as to their merits.
Body cameras may also encourage the public to be more cooperative with law enforcement officers. The results of a recent Pew Research Center survey showed that 52% of the participating police department administrators indicated that the public would be more likely to be cooperative. In addition, 66% of the participating officers and 93% of the public participants were in favor of using these devices to record interactions.
Another study showed that public complaints were greatly reduced in situations where police wore body cameras. The data showed that 93% fewer complaints were made by the public, which is a significant percentage. This also demonstrates public trust in the merits of this method for relaying accurate details.
Reduced Use of Force
When police wore body cameras to record citizen interactions, some areas experienced a decline in the use of force by their officers. The California Police Department in Rialto, for example, reported that they experienced a 60% reduction in the use of force. There are, of course, several factors that may have contributed to this positive decline. One of these is that when citizens are aware that they as well as the officers are being recorded, they are much more likely to cooperate.
Learn More About the Benefits of Wearing Body Cameras
Does your department provide its officers with body cameras? If not, is the department concerned about body camera costs? When weighing the benefits received by the police force and the public, body camera costs are minimal in comparison. When you learn more about the positive impact these devices can have, as well as the top rated body cameras available, there’s an excellent chance you will realize that body camera costs are well within your budget.