The body camera is good for everyone. It records what is actually happening and not someone’s impression of what happened. As a former Prosecutor, I can tell you without a doubt when in the trial the jury usually believes the officers. The camera will no doubt be beneficial for citizens who had a different perspecitve than the officers.
I will say the camera helps the officers because it will thwart any false accusations that is thrown at officers often.
Video is such a great tool for the field of law. It is a memorialization of what happened. It helps both law enforcement and those accused. One key point I wonder is how long will the video be stored and not purged. For instance, someone accused of a San Diego DUI may be able to show they were in fact not the driver of a vehicle. The video would show who exited the drivers side. However, the police would not be wanting the video. It would be defense counsel. A person has to be arrested, get out of jail, find and retain and attorney. The attorney would have to gather facts before they would even have a chance to subpoena the video.
The CHP has Dash Cam videos called MVARS. The video is an effective tool in discerning how the San Diego DUI stop went. I have had situations where the client said something was said or done that just was not on the video. The fact it did not happen helped resolved the issues the client had and the case was resolved.
I am proud to say SDPD (San Diego Police) has been implementing the body cameras.
For all sides in the matter I hope the body cameras become an everyday tool of law enforcement.
The maker of the body cameras being tested by the San Diego Police Department said Thursday that officers’ use of personal force dropped by 47 percent and complaints fell by 41 percent in tests.
San Diego officials earlier reported success with the camera, and the announcement by TASER International, manufacturer of the AXON body-worn video camera, provided further indication of the cameras’ effectiveness.
“The body cameras have proven to be a positive game-changer for our department and the San Diegocommunity,” says San DiegoPolice Chief Shelley Zimmerman. “We find the cameras to be a win-win for our officers and citizens and we look forward to continued success with our body-worn video program here in San Diego.”
In addition to the reductions in use of personal bodily force and citizen complaints, San Diego officers’ use of pepper spray decline by 31 percent.
The San Diego Police Department currently uses 600 AXON body and flex cameras along with TASER’s cloud-based platform, EVIDENCE.com, to store and manage the data from their cameras and other digital devices. The department plans to have nearly 1,000 officers, including patrol officers, gang-unit officers and motorcycle officers equipped with body cameras by the end of 2015.
“This is meaningful data from a large scale deployment of body-worn cameras at a major city and we are very encouraged by the positive results and significant impact the body cameras have shown to have on a police force and community,” said Rick Smith, CEO and Founder of TASER. “We hope the results from this study will help guide other cities, counties and law enforcement agencies who are considering updating their technology to help improve transparency and community relations.”
TASER said studies of body-worn cameras conducted at other police departments in recent years have shown similar results. A study by Arizona State University at the Mesa Police Department revealed a 48 percent reduction in citizen complaints and a 75 percent decline in use of force complaints.
The camera can be attached securely to sunglasses, a cap, a shirt collar, or a head mount. It’s powered by a pocket-sized battery pack. When recording, the camera captures a wide-angle, full-color view of what an officer is facing. The video automatically uploads via a docking station.
TASER, based in Scottsdale, AZ, was founded in 1993 to make the well-known TASER electrical weapons.
The full article can be found here.