Body Cameras Could Be the Key to Police Accountability
While most people will remember the year 2020 for the health crisis of COVID-19, the year was also one marked by a string of police brutality. The deaths of individuals such as Andre Hill and Ma’Khia Bryant at the hands of police officers have caused the public to question whether or not they can trust their own law enforcement.
Police accountability has become exceedingly important in the past years, and citizens want to know that an encounter with law enforcement won’t result in a death sentence. As a result, Governor of Ohio Mike DeWine has decided to push for advancements in bodycam technology for all active police officers.
Beforehand, body cameras would only record if the officer activated it, and very few officers were required to carry them. The new bodycams that Gov. DeWine proposed would always be recording, and every officer in Ohio would be required to wear them.
While a great way to ensure that police officers are held accountable, it goes without saying that being able to supply every officer with a body camera, as well as having to maintain hours and hours of footage will be a costly endeavor. However, Chip Coldren, the Director of Center for Justice Research and Innovation insists that the cost will be worth it.
If you save one life with a body-worn camera, there are costs associated with loss of life that you can never quantify, it is something to think about.
The police are a vital part of our society, holding an important position to keep the peace. But with their position comes a responsibility to treat the lives of their citizens with the due respect they deserve. When heated situations arise, we need them to act appropriately, and if they fail to do so they should be punished accordingly.
At the end of the day, the police’s first priority should be to keep the public safe. Through the use of these cameras, the police department will be able to ensure they keep tabs on their officers and hold them accountable for their actions.