But is it right to ask police to wear them as part of the uniform?
Body Cameras in Action
Some police forces have recently made body cameras part of the uniform. These body cams put a huge range of behaviors under the public eye. They’ll show when an officer performs heroically and hold cops accountable for overstepping their authority.
Some proponents even claim that footage can aid investigators and clear innocent officers of false allegations.
This can only be a good thing, right?
Public Opinion on Body Cameras
As with any evolving technology or practice, the use of police body cameras has detractors. Opponents’ main concern centers on privacy, because many people exploit the footage from police dashboard cameras for entertainment purposes.
Paparazzi have obtained footage of celebrities filmed in embarrassing situations during traffic stops, and clips of nude women being arrested have provided hours of amusement for Internet viewers.
We have to ask ourselves, though, is using this footage for entertainment much different from watching “Cops” on television?
Body Cameras Go Everywhere the Police Go
With body cameras in action, it may be hard to find a balance between police accountability and citizen privacy. Police body cams accompany officers literally everywhere—potentially your living room or bedroom—should an officer wearing one answer a call to a house.
Facial recognition software, in combination with body cameras, could potentially be used to scan crowds. That includes protests, gatherings and even just busy streets.
Could such software end up being used to locate people with outstanding warrants or fines?
Can We Have the Best of Both Worlds?
Today’s technology often grows faster than society can develop methods of handling it, and police body cameras are no exception. On one hand, we have increased police accountability and footage available to aid in investigations. On the other hand, innocent citizens can be filmed without their consent.
What do you think? Is there a way to benefit from this technology while protecting our rights as citizens of the United States? What guidelines would you set for the use of police body cameras? Share your opinion on my Facebook page!