Events in Ferguson, Mo., are raising many questions, among them: Should police officers be required to wear body cameras? Which of the below most reflects your beliefs about the need for/effectiveness of body cameras for police? (Choose up to 2)

Ferguson, Mo., where the events surrounding the police shooting death of unarmed black teen Michael Brown have resulted in an escalating he said/she said of accusations and protests, is aflame. Stories of demonstrations, looting, calls for calm and police brutality are igniting tempers and burning up front pages.

The incident and its aftermath are forcing examinations - of the role of race, sex, the power of authority - and are bringing forth many questions. Among them, how do we best monitor those who are tasked with monitoring the public? Should manditory body cameras be required for all police officers?

Communitites throughout the nation (including Rialto, Calif., and Washington D.C.) have implemented manditory body cameras for police officers. Los Angeles County is presently considering one such program.

Do you believe body cameras should be required for police? Which of the below most reflects your beliefs about the need for/effectiveness of body cameras for police? (Choose up to 2)

Body cameras should be required for officers. They encourage better behavior from both the offending and arresting parties.
54% (77 votes)
Body cameras should be required for police officers. They act as impartial witnesses to offenses.
51% (72 votes)
Body cameras should be required for officers. They have been proven to reduce incidences of police brutality and have assisted with combating false police brutality claims.
30% (43 votes)
Body cameras should be required for officers. On-dash cameras do not provide enough key information in questionable cases.
20% (28 votes)
Body cameras should not be required for police officers. Other methods of oversight, including proper training and relying on eyewitness accounts, should be enough to ensure officers are acting in accordance with the law.
5% (7 votes)
Body cameras should not be required for police officers. They are cost prohibitive and unnecessary.
4% (5 votes)
Body cameras should not be required for officers. They have not been proven to reduce incidences of police brutality or assist with combating false police brutality claims.
2% (3 votes)
Total voters: 142

Discuss this poll 4

on Sep 15, 2014

The crucial question to be asked is "How much is it worth?" There are so many logistical issues regarding the security, chain of custody, retention, indexing, etc. of the individual video clip that come from the body cameras each day. Associating each clip with the call number or case number with which is associated is an arduous task and asking officers to upload and index their files at end of shift is no small effort, not to mention the network bandwidth and storage implications (particularly if we must retain 12 months which is required by California law). I believe some of this can be solved with intelligent programming and procedures, but it's not just about running out and buying a bunch of GoPro cameras.

on May 22, 2015

You're right, it's not that simple.
However, as a matter of principal, if a recording is made of a stop or detainment, then the immediate release of the recording to the subject of that interaction is reasonable. It might mean something like: "The recording of your traffic stop will be available for you to download in approximately 24 hours."
A one-time download, with the entry of the citation number and some other identifying information, it seems to me, is technically feasible.
This immediate accountability, just might improve the behavior of all parties.

on Aug 28, 2014

I spite of what some may say. A camera only shows and incident from one angle. It take four or more cameras during a NFL football game for a ref to make a decision. And we're going to base the truth on one. It will not provide the total answer. Only a partial answer. The main use of dash cameras is the conviction of bad guys.
If the cop had a chest camera, it wouldn't have show him getting hit 4 or more times, and the perp grabbing and discharging the gun in the car.

on Aug 28, 2014

If the camera is secured correctly with a harness around an Officer’s chest or attached through his his/her belt without falling off during a struggle then it may be a valuable resource for the officers and the public.

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