Being a police officer remains one of the most dangerous jobs in the United States. However, while the risks remain, police departments across the nation now have more tools available to help them perform their duties. The use of car dashboard cameras and body cameras is on the rise; as of March 2015, about one-third of the 18,000 police departments in the U.S. were using body cameras. There are a number of benefits that come from using police body and dash-mounted cameras, and this article will take a look at a few of them.
- They Can Corroborate Police Reports: One benefit of using police body and dash-mounted cameras is that they can be used to corroborate police reports filed on whatever activities the officers have done during their shift. Since the only job the camera has is to record what is happening in front of it, it provides an objective, unbiased view of what happened during the incident. In this way, the footage can be used to corroborate the police report, showing that what the police officers say happened is what actually happened.
- They Can Be Used as Evidence: Another benefit of using police body and dash-mounted cameras is that they can be used as evidence in a trial. As with the previous benefit, the unbiased footage recorded on the cameras can also be submitted as evidence to be used in a trial. This is particularly useful if one or more of the officers involved in the recording aren’t for some reason available to provide testimony themselves.
- They Can Help Provide Transparency: And finally, a third benefit of using police body and dash-mounted cameras is that they can be used to help provide transparency for the police department. Relations between the police and the civilian population have been greatly strained as of late, so employing these cameras and making the footage public from time to time will lay bare what the police department is doing on a regular basis, and should reassure the populace that the police are doing their jobs correctly.
In conclusion, there are a number of benefits that come from using police body and dash-mounted cameras. These benefits include being used to corroborate police reports, being used as evidence for a trial, and helping to provide transparency for the police department. These are just a few of the benefits that come from using these cameras.