The debate over the use of police dash and body cameras is one that is sure to go on into the year 2017. As the nation continues to grabble with the police videos that have surfaced in the last few years, more and more departments across the country are considering if they need to work this technology into their budgets. Whether departments are looking at the police dash and body cameras as a first time purchase or whether they are looking to upgrade the current equipment that they have, a growing number of citizens as well as government officials see the need for increased monitoring. And while some see the police dash camera system and body worn cameras for police as a means of protecting the public, another sector sees this technology as a way to promote the good work that the majority of public safety officials do on a day to day basis.
It may not be surprising to find out that the use of video technology has increased throughout police forces in America. Statistics indicate, in fact, that between the years 2000 and 2003, the number of in the car dash cameras for police officers increased from 3,400 to 17,500. As government agencies and citizen awareness groups across America continue to demand even more accountability from the police, it seems likely that the use of this technology will continue to grow. And while as many as 77% of officers indicate that they think body cameras are more effective than dash cameras, it may seem a conflict that a 2013 survey by the Police Executive Research Forum indicated that 75% of surveyed police departments reported that they did not use body-worn cameras.
It may seem contradictory that with the advancement of technology that more forces are not making use of these cameras. For the most critical in society, the public may think that police officers do not want to use the video camera technology because they are doing something wrong. In reality, however, many police officers simply feel that their department budgets can be used for better safety measures. In addition, the police officers often find this technology a burden, and one more thing that can get in their way when they are in the middle of a quickly changing situation with a suspect.
Where Do You Stand on the Current Police Dash Camera Debate?
On the public’s side, however, the use of a body or dash camera is necessary if our society is ever going to be able to hold the police force accountable for their actions. And while it is true that the majority of officers may be protecting all that they serve, the videos that have caught what appears to be some very unjustified brutal killings on camera put the entire force into question. In a time when the over use of power seems to be a concern in all aspects of the government, it should not be surprising that many are calling for more, not less monitoring.
Another argument that some people have for increasing the video technology that could monitor a police officer’s safety is that it is a waste of tax payer money. For the majority of the part, studies show, the police cameras are not even in use. Most department regulations simply require, for example, that a police officer turn on their camera any time they are starting to approach a subject. What if, for instance, the police officer simply says that he or she forgot? This would be just one example of a technology that has been both purchased and wasted.
Advocates for citizen protection agencies across the country, nonetheless, demand that every concerned citizen should continue to demand an increase in the use of the available technology. They contend that it will only be when the general public lobbies for more monitoring will we finally reach a day when all police officers have the opportunity to prove that they are doing their jobs well and to the best of their abilities. The cameras, and other future technologies can help up be a better and safer society, with even the police departments across the country proving they they ar not overstepping their boundaries.