Do Body Cameras Reduce Crime ?

Body cameras represent a significant investment. In the last two years, the U.S government has spent more than $23 million buying body cameras for local and state police departments. This week, the Department of Justice put up another $20 million in grants .

Do Body Cameras Reduce Crime ? Body cameras thus prove themselves to be indispensable. One officer who acted recklessly is facing murder charges, and two other officers who acted out of self-defense won’t be charged. When a police officer is equipped with a body camera, he or she will be more likely to think before pulling the trigger, knowing that his or her actions will be under public scrutiny.

Body cameras have featured prominently in debates on criminal justice reform since late 2014, when it was announced that Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson, who was not wearing a body camera, would not face charges over his killing of Michael Brown. An increasing number of police departments have been outfitting their officers with body cameras, which if governed by appropriate policies can prove invaluable in misconduct investigations.

Body cameras are neither new technology nor an original idea for police reform. But the upheaval in Ferguson has quickly brought them to the forefront of discussions about how to mitigate incidence of police misconduct and how to arbitrate cases where the exact nature of conduct isn’t clear.

Body cameras provide an extra eye that can explain the actions of an officer or suspect. Most police cars already have cameras in them, but a camera worn on an officer’s uniform can take you inside the action.

Body cameras have proven to be a helpful tool for both police officers and community members, as well as for helping to build a relationship between the two. Not only do the cameras heighten police accountability, but they also allow for a greater appreciation of what police officers encounter on a daily basis.

Research on body cameras is still in its early stages, with only a handful of studies completed to date, all of them showing clear benefits. A jolt went through the criminal justice research field this spring when a report by a British group at the forefront of body camera research suggested that body cameras were not only ineffective in reducing the use of force by police but were actually associated with a higher rate of assaults of against police officers.

The Police Force Body Camera Pro HD is a wide angle infrared camera loaded with features and designed to be both worn by security professionals and used as a dash camera. With one touch recording you can quickly capture both audio and video with the 32 GB internal memory.

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The high capacity lithium battery provides up to 8 hours of recording time. With one touch recording, you will quickly be capturing great quality video in any lighting condition.

Even in low-light settings, through the use of night vision, the camera can record up to 24 feet with facial recognition. Housed in weather proof casing to protect the camera from rain or snow, it can be clipped to your uniform or used in the included dash mount (in addition to the AC charger, a car charger is also included).

You can use the 2 inch color LCD with a built-in speaker to view your recordings in the field and when you need a larger display the camera’s micro-USB output port can be used to connect to a TV or computer monitor. Easy to use buttons are located on the sides of the unit but for more convenient operation the remote control can be used to discretely begin recording video, audio only, or take photos.

Law enforcement agencies across the United States have been equipping officers with body cameras in the past five years. The video recordings can supplement evidence in criminal cases resulting from arrests made by the officers and can protect officers from allegations of wrongdoing — or implicate them.

Mobile cameras operated by law enforcement may play a valuable role in the present and future of policing. Whether they’re worn by an officer or mounted on police equipment, cameras could help provide transparency into law enforcement practices, by providing first-hand evidence of public interactions.

Video footage captured may help speed up court proceedings by providing indisputable proof of situations. This may lead to a reduction in court expenses due to an increase in pre-trial plea bargains or possibly an increased rate of convictions.

Video footage can provide objective evidence, supporters say, particularly in situations where police use deadly force.   Some studies show  that departments that use body cameras use force less often, and the cameras are increasingly seen as a way to build public trust.

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