There has been a lot of debate about police and body cameras. However you slice it, their use can be a good thing. It can help support a citizen’s claim of inappropriate behavior by an office. But on the flip side of it, it could also protect an office against false claims by citizens with a general grudge against all law enforcement. The camera, coupled with any witness testimony can provide the much-needed documentation.
I keep trying to think of logical, legitimate reasons against using a camera to capture everything officers are doing on the job during their shift. I can’t come up with a good reason. Then, I think of people I know who were sanctioned for various things (i.e., sleeping at work, stealing, sexual harassment, etc.), things that some of they denied they did. What if there was a camera in the office? Hmmmm! After thinking it through, I get it. The people who oppose the use of camera are afraid of exposing their behaviors at work. If you’re doing things correctly, following all of your employer’s policies and rules, what difference would it make if a camera is watching you? It might only matter if you’re a slacker or someone involved in some egregious violations of company policies.
Cameras are great for accountability, and they will help resolve any discrepancies about an officer’s behavior. I’m all for them. What would be ideal, though, is if the US Department of Justice would offer grants to state and local police departments to help defray the cost. Small town departments have paltry budgets. Perhaps that’s the answer. Grants. Money is the only thing that some people understand. Everyone has some kind of carrot dangling in front of them.