Why do people think cameras are a bad idea?
Although body cameras are thought mostly as a good idea some people still believe that they are not. Police executive Lindsay Miller stated ,"Cops can easily turn the cameras off, and precincts can delete or edit footage in their favor. Cameras are as good as useless if people don’t trust the system to preserve and use the footage wisely. Cameras may prevent some good cops from acting like complete thugs; however, when thuggish behavior is not just tolerated but legal in the eyes of the system, does it really matter if we have that behavior on video or not?". This shows that the reason people that think cameras are a bad idea notice that police can just turn the cameras off. Jessica Toliver, a scientist working on imaging technology showed that," Technology already exists for cameras to be equipped with facial recognition software that could immediately identify anyone the cop comes in contact with. And with new threat level analysis of social media and other “watchlist” mechanisms, cops will be motivated to stop someone without actual probable cause. This is extremely dangerous for liberty". The body cameras worry the public because it takes away from their privacy laws.
How will police stations pay for all the body cameras?
Police stations are having lots of trouble finding a way to pay body cameras to the point that they are rethinking the idea of having body cams put into action. Governor Rick Scott of Florida signed a bill governing the use of police body cameras but College professor Dr. Crow says," the measure may have put the cart before the horse, because some departments in the state can’t afford the technology. In Clearwater, for instance, officials recently rejected a plan to buy 170 police body cameras at a one-time cost of $102,000 and a recurring annual cost of $235,000". These cameras will eventually pay for themselves through all the lawsuits that will be avoided and other disruptions. That’s because these cameras will lead to fewer use-of-force complaints, which will lead to fewer lawsuits. Chief Mike Chitwood of Daytona Beach, Florida, said in a recent federal government survey. “By preventing these suits, the department has more money to spend on cars, technology, and other things that benefit officers". With the money they save police can use that money for many different things like training to help make the community a safer place.
What makes body cameras such a big deal to the community?
Body cameras will be able to account for police actions and whereabouts without any manipulation. Lindsay Miller Goodison, the deputy director of the Center for Applied Research and Management says," from a performance perspective, it is hoped that body cameras can overcome some of the technical challenges associated with in-car systems such, as their lack of peripheral vision, fixed position, distance, and limited scope. Of course, body cameras will not be a panacea. But in a day and age when almost every individual in society has easy and instant access to a portable video and voice recorder, it only makes sense that law enforcement makes use of similar technologies to assure independent access to video and audio transcripts of an event or incident, even if the quality, perspective, and audio fidelity may not always be optimal". She is saying that because many people in the street have resources that police don't have that they should have them to help police forces out as much as possible. But getting this amount of technology may have a few drawbacks because of how they invade peoples privacy and police forces may not know how to use these cameras properly.
Do body cameras violate privacy laws?
The videos taken with body cameras will never be shown to the public without that person's consent but can be shown in court. Washington D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier said," Some policies include restrictions on recording in circumstances with greater potential for abuse. It is valuable for police to have recordings of witness and victim statements, but recording also might make people reluctant to talk. A few policies restrict recording of First Amendment activity, such as protests and religious meetings, to avoid the possibility of targeting people based on this activity or creating a chilling effect". She says that even if police need to be recording at that certain moment it can change someones mind of talking to the police or not. Most people talk about the privacy they need in places like restrooms and locker rooms, and some provide special rules for recording inside a private home. Facial recognition technology can change how body-worn camera video can be used to help the police find a suspect.
What if the body cameras run out of storage?
Body cameras are connected to the cloud so if they run out of space in the hard drive it will all go to the cloud. June Bakst, a writer for the associated press noted that," she vetoed a proposal that would have required officers to wear cameras because she didn't believe the costs and other details were adequately considered. City officials estimated costs up to $2.6 million a year for storage and the extra staff needed to manage the video data". This cause some concern in the community because they know that this money won't be coming out of the police stations budget but will come out of taxpayers wallet. Ryan Foley a TASER International spokesman said," In some cities, the AP found that the small cameras worn by beat cops on their uniforms or glasses were obtained at deep discounts when departments linked data-management deals that are far more lucrative over the long run for device manufacturers. Those plans run between $20 and $100 per officer per month, depending on the volume generated". He shows that depending on where you live the price of the body cameras will increase or decrease at a drastic rate and cities are already trying to figure out if they can afford to get all the offices body cameras so it may cause the cameras not to be recording as often which could make it miss some crucial footage.