In just the last few weeks, law enforcement agencies in at least a dozen cities, including Ferguson; Flagstaff, Ariz.; Minneapolis; Norfolk, Va.; and Washington, have said they are equipping officers with video cameras. Miami Beach approved the purchase of $3 million worth of cameras for police officers, parking enforcement workers, and building and fire inspectors.
The New York Police Department, the nation’s largest urban force, has studied how Los Angeles is incorporating body cameras and is planning its own pilot project. A law in New Jersey, signed this month, requires all municipal police departments to buy car-mounted or body cameras, and creates a new fine on drunken drivers to help pay for it. And the United States Border Patrol, with more than 21,000 agents, recently said it would start testing cameras this year.
The shift to supporting body cameras has been sudden and seismic, primarily because various interests, often opposed, have lined up in support of the idea. Liability-conscious city attorneys say the cameras could help in lawsuits; rights groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union, say police accountability will be bolstered by another layer of public documentation; and the Justice Department, surveying 63 police departments that were using body cameras and many others that were not, concluded in a report this month that the technology had the potential to “promote the perceived legitimacy and sense of procedural justice” in interactions between the public and law enforcement.
To read more Click Here