So far, the police departments throughout the world have flocked to body-worn cameras as fashionable and almost reflexive reform. The cameras have had its merits to some and demerits to others, as many officials have been accountable for their actions- either fired or in more severe cases indicted or convicted. This footage in the camera has shown exactly how they behaved and the consequences of their actions were not very pleasant.
Body cameras are known always to tell what the other person sees not what you see. Accountability is not automatic, these cameras make police more accountable- or simply intensify police surveillance which depends on how the cameras and footage are used. The police service has recorded new success from the use of body cam at their disposal. Many police officials have turned to cameras to reduce violent encounters and build trust. By 2015, 95 percent of the police department reported they were using body cameras or had committed to doing so in the near future.
These cameras provide an independence if something ambiguous record of police-civilian encounters. The cameras also have a cost in terms of privacy violations. The program is meant to help officers and the public by keeping records of their interactions with the people. The use of body-worn cameras supports the on-going effort of the police service to create a safe, transparent, an accountable and innovate policing.
Some of the benefits of these cams as testified by some police officers who use them;
- Enhance transparency, public trust, and confidence.
- Collection of evidence.
- The function of monitoring.
- Increase in professionalism.
- An effective tool to administer justice.
- Acts as watch-dog amongst officers’ activities.
- Enhance office accountability and professionalism.
- Protect officers from unfounded allegations and misconduct.
- De-escalate a situation.
The science behind where the police should place their body cameras has shown a new approach in design and ergonomics perspective. The findings also show that mounting cameras on the shoulders, epaulets, collars actually changed the structure of the shoulders. So, sometimes when that happens the camera on the shoulder ends up pointing down at the ground. Camera- mounting positions on the head- like glasses or baseball cap- appear to provide a more complete view of the target than one mounted on the torso. These body cams allow a lot of flexibility- an officer can quickly move the camera before entering a situation. Though sometimes, these mounts can pop off, especially when the police officer is in a fight on the ground.
This growing impact of body cam will remain most recommendable for the future in the police work. The difference is that the police service can now monitor crime and also be monitored themselves. Their excesses will now be put in check, as these body cams stand as watchdog amongst themselves.
The police service department is duty bound to detect crimes, save lives and administer justice. Whatever means they intend to achieve this ordeal will be available at their demand.