Every time I find myself on the Internet, I somehow see a video of a cop abusing a civilian or a civilian being disrespectful to a cop. YouTube and World Star Hip Hop have become the Mecca of police videos. However, every video cannot be taken at face value because the bystander often starts recording after the incident has already begun.
In an attempt to temper the amount of complaints received by civilians about the police as well as sort out suits and allegations, some police departments have begun to wear a camera on their glasses. The standard has already been implemented in Rialto, California, where civilian complaints dropped by a staggering 88% after the first 12 months of using the cameras. Additionally, policemen used force 61% less than before the cameras were in use. The aim of the cameras is to protect the officers from false claims and complaints, while also protecting the civilian from police misconduct.
These cameras retain the latest 30 seconds of video before turning on, so it will save the 30 seconds leading up to the event that lead the officer to turn on their camera. This is called the pre-event buffer, and it is significant in that it would catch what the YouTube videos do not. Often times when people claim to have been abused by police in videos online, leaving out any evidence of their offenses leading up to the video. As is the case with most technology, the use of these cameras is a double-edged sword. The intent and, so far, the result is to reduce the amount incidents between civilians and policemen, but it also brings privacy issues into question.
Personally, as a student living off-campus, I’m fully supportive of the agenda to employ these cameras in law enforcement agencies all over the country to ensure that the rights of the citizen are not violated and that policemen are performing their jobs to the highest of standards. It is a step in the right direction towards nullifying officer-civilian apprehension, eventually creating a more efficient system of law enforcement.